Residents of Barrow who have dementia and their friends and carers have given a warm welcome to a new support service run by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust (UHMBT).
The ‘Barrow and District Dementia Hub’ was launched on Wednesday, May 22, at the Living Well Centre on Duke Street.
Peter Phizacklea, 82, who was born in Dalton and now lives in Barrow, was one of the local residents with dementia who attended the first hub.
Peter said: “The hub is a great idea. It’s amazing how many people turned up.
“I have Alzheimer’s Disease. Lots of people have dementia but they don’t accept it. They say ‘There’s nowt wrong with me!’
“I always say to them ‘you have dementia but there are lots of things you can do’. There is help for people who need it.”
Peter, a former welder in Barrow’s shipyards and a councillor in Dalton for many years, has a large family in the local area. He was presented with the OBE for his work as a councillor.
He added: “My OBE came before I got Alzheimer’s. I am very fortunate as my daughter, my two sons, my grandchildren and great-grandchildren look after me so well.”
Maxine Baron, who is running the hub for UHMBT, said she was delighted with the success of the launch event.
She said: “I’m really pleased that so many people turned up for the launch. It shows how good our partnership working is in Barrow.
“It’s somewhere useful for people with dementia to come and have a chat and get information.
“People who joined us at the first hub in Barrow said it was good to socialise with other people. Hopefully more and more people will come as time goes on.
“The Living Well Centre is a beautiful venue. One lady was quite nervous but she was happy once she came in. We will always have at least two people on the door to meet and greet everyone.
“It would be great if we could get more volunteers to help with this. People can just come along or contact us if they would like to volunteer.”
St Mary’s Hospice owns the Living Well Centre and has kindly provided the venue for the new hub.
The Barrow hub gives people in the local community an opportunity to meet professionals from organisations including the NHS Memory Clinic, Alzheimer’s Society, Integrated Care Communities (ICC), Age UK South Lakeland, Furness Carers, Dignity in Dementia, Barrow Blind Society, Barrow Fire Service, independent care providers and many more.
Marina Woodburn, a Clinical Leader in the Care of the Elderly Team for UHMBT in Barrow, said: “It’s a really good idea to have a hub like this because it lets the general public know what support is available, whether they have dementia themselves or if they are a carer.
“It’s also a good place for professionals to network and find out what’s out there.”
Michael Cassells, Volunteer Support worker for Furness Carers, said: “The hub is a very good thing for this area.
“Furness Carers also has hubs and dementia cafes. This new hub complements our weekly hubs.
“It’s a chance for people to find out what’s available and in-between Furness Carers can keep the contact going.”
Craig Backhouse, Chief Executive Officer of Furness Carers, said: “A number of different agencies can come together to support the local community. The key to its success will be making sure people in the community know about it.”
Dianne Smith, Matron for Professional Standards in Dementia for UHMBT, added: “Our Barrow hub is a ‘one-stop-shop’ for information and support.
“People can ask professionals about any aspect of managing care for someone with dementia. They can also ask for advice about getting a diagnosis and where to find services.”
The next Barrow and District Dementia Hub will be at the Living Well Centre on Duke Street on Wednesday, June 26, from 1pm to 3pm. All are welcome. The hubs are held on the fourth Wednesday of every month.
To contact the hub please call 07779 436 546 or email [email protected]
There is also a Facebook page for the hub. Please search Facebook for ‘Barrow Dementia Hub’.