Published on: 15th May 2024

People with dementia and their carers have praised a ‘lifeline’ support service run by our Oldham memory assessment service, Dr Kershaw’s Hospice, and Age UK Oldham.

Oldham Dementia Hub is on the Dr Kershaw’s Hospice site and is a central point for people to get information on benefits, palliative care, therapy, emotional and practical support, and specialist clinical advice.

People can attend every Wednesday 10am-12pm or 1-3pm, to talk to dementia nurses and other professionals, who can answer any questions about dementia, diagnosis, managing symptoms, or medication.

They can also talk to and get support from other people living with dementia or other carers and family members.

Sue, whose husband was diagnosed with dementia, attends both the hub and a music in mind group at Dr Kershaw’s.

Sue said: “You feel like you’re not on your own, because when you get that diagnosis, you just feel bogged down and you don’t know which way to turn. We absolutely love it – it just uplifts you. It’s a lifeline for me.”

Jean, also a carer, added: “It’s a release for me. My husband is just so within himself, quiet, but he just laughs along. I can’t wait for Wednesday morning. I just look forward to coming because I’ve met friends, and it’s just nice to have somebody else to share your problems with.”

One attendee who is living with dementia, said: “I find it very relaxing, I enjoy coming. The carers are extremely nice and caring. You can relax and talk to people who are the same as you are.”

It’s estimated that 1,862 people over 65 in Oldham are currently living with dementia. Oldham memory assessment service, run by Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, focuses on early diagnosis to help people live well with dementia.

Claire Evans, Oldham memory assessment service manager, said: “The idea of having a dementia hub has always been a goal of ours in Oldham, due to the growing number of people with dementia.

“It has been described as a lifeline for some and we now have up to 70 attendees every week and have recently split into two sessions due to the demand.

“It’s beneficial for the social element, but also many people attend with very specific questions about their dementia, diagnosis, symptoms or medication and our nurses can speak to them on a one-to-one basis.

“It’s a one-stop shop for advice and the success has been down to passion of all those involved, who care greatly about improving dementia care”.

Kim Wrigley, dementia champion at Dr Kershaw’s Hospice, said: "Wednesday is a very special day for the staff and volunteers who work in the Dementia Hub, supporting people living with dementia, their carers, family and friends.

“We are aware just how important this collaborative service is to those who need help and support, and it is a huge privilege to be able to offer this each week from Dr Kershaw's Hospice, with colleagues from Oldham's memory service and Age UK.”

Natalie Leach, service manager at Age UK Oldham, said:“The Hub is an avenue to access Age UK Oldham’s services, such as specialist dementia information and carers assessment service, day care, meals, shopping and handyvan services, which support people living with dementia and their families or carers.

“Carers supported through the Dementia Hub are invited to have a carers assessment undertaken by Age UK Oldham to assist them in their caring role.”

Oldham Dementia Hub has created a video with more information, which you can watch below: