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Speech therapy for dementia patients may be improved after govt consultation

Friday 13th January 2017
A consultation into dementia care in Wales could lead to improvements to speech therapy services. Image: kunertus via iStock
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The Welsh government has launched a public consultation into how dementia services in the country could be improved in order to make sure patients and their families are getting the support they need from carers, speech therapists and other healthcare professionals.

Statistics from the Alzheimer's Society show that some 45,000 in Wales are currently living with dementia or are caring for someone with the degenerative condition, with this figure expected to rise by 40 per cent over the coming decade.

With this in mind, the Welsh government is spending the next two months looking into ways to improve dementia care services throughout the country, recognising that extra support is needed for people living with the condition as it has recently become the leading cause of death in both England and Wales.

Dementia patients often require support from community nurses and speech therapists - as their ability to communicate can be one of the first factors to show evidence of decline - as well as nutritionists and physiotherapists to ensure they are comfortable, are not suffering from malnutrition and are able to interact with others. Improvements to each of these areas could be made following the consultation.

In addition, the government wants to make sure that the relatives, friends and appointed carers of people living with dementia are receiving adequate support in order to protect their own wellbeing while they are caring for a loved one with the degenerative illness.

Sue Phelps, director of the Alzheimer's Society in Wales, commented: "We strongly encourage contributions and insight from people affected by dementia to help guide Welsh government; this is a real opportunity to deliver better dementia care, support and services.

"We will be pushing for a strategy that is ambitious and achievable in order to deliver real change which fully supports the 45,000 people with dementia in Wales and makes Wales a truly dementia-friendly nation."

Written by Martin Lambert

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