Cheshire East Council’s acclaimed dementia reablement service has attracted international attention.
Mr Tsuneo Inoue, an authority on long-term older people care in Japan, met with service members and team leaders to learn more about the work carried out by the council to support residents living with dementia, their carers and families.
Cheshire East is one of the few councils in the country to deliver bespoke intervention and support for families and individuals, where the onset of early-stage dementia has begun to impact on their lives.
An evaluation report by Liverpool John Moores University said of the service: “It has successfully arrested decline and provided a stabilising effect on a general sense of wellbeing and overall quality of life.”
Mr Tsuneo, a lecturer in social protection policy at Doshisha University, met with Neil and Linda McKellar, from Sandbach. Mr McKellar was diagnosed with vascular dementia two years ago and found out about the council’s reablement service while visiting a memory café.
He also met with Councillor Janet Clowes, cabinet member for adult social care and integration.
Councillor Clowes said: “Cheshire East Council’s dementia reablement service seeks to set the highest standards in the way in which we support our residents with dementia and their families.
“Dementia is one of the biggest challenges faced by all local authorities and, as a borough with an ageing population, we want to make sure that all those people affected by dementia receive all the professional support they deserve.
“Helping people to live well and for longer is a core strand of the council’s health and wellbeing strategy. It is about supporting independence and quality of life.”
Cheshire East Council’s dementia reablement service was set up in 2015 and handled more than 500 referrals in its first 11 months of operation. That number has now risen to 1,572.
Municipal authorities in Japan are faced with similar challenges to the UK when assessing how best to support people with dementia. Cheshire East’s model is an early intervention short-term process, in which trained professionals prepare a support plan to help those with early dementia and their carers to access a wide range of services, including technology and dementia-friendly shops, supermarkets and leisure activities.
The service seeks to empower people with early dementia to have the confidence to manage independently and to bring about a quality of life for them and their families.
For more information about Cheshire East Council’s dementia reablement service visit www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/dementiareablement