The Executive Committee of Surrey Heath Council, last night, approved the spending of £80,000 to build a Wellbeing Centre attached to its Windle Valley Day Centre in Bagshot.
The Wellbeing Centre will provide help and information about dementia, and memory loss. The £80k cost is entirely funded by Surrey County Council. They are establishing Wellbeing Centres in each of the eleven Surrey District Boroughs, forming part of the action plan set out in their Adult Social Care Commissioning Strategy for older people in Surrey 2011-2020.
The underlying driver behind the County Council’s initiative is change in Surrey’s population, which is predicted to rise over the coming decade with notable increases in the number of people aged 65 and over. The 65+ population will increase by 10.8% and 19.6% by 2015 and 2020 respectively.
Associated with this change in population is an expected big increase in cases of dementia. The County Council’s policy initiative, in their Adult Social Care Strategy, is “to ensure that each borough has within it a day resource, which has the skills and competence to engage and support people effectively with dementia”. The first item in the Action Plan on page 87 of the Strategy, under the heading – Access + Information and Advice is the following:
1. We will commission Wellbeing Centres in each of our borough council areas, having a wide range of accessible information and advice specifically aimed at older people, people with dementia and their family and carers. This will be an investment of £300,000 to our information and prevention agenda.
Financial resource implications: £450,000. Timescale: July 2012
The Wellbeing Centre will be an important and beneficial facility for Surrey Heath. It is expected that it will provide sufficient space for a multi-disciplinary facility for up to 12 people. Surrey Heath Borough Council will meet the running costs, which are expected to be minimal.
Looks like we in Surrey are preparing for the great tsunami of dementia, and this is, in my view, a worthwhile and positive initiative.