Much needed support for people with dementia and their loved ones could be improved by the forthcoming launch of a new trust.
Tony Britton, of Cubbington Road, Lillington, has set up The Pam Britton Trust for Dementia in memory of his late wife Pam who was diagnosed with early onset dementia when she was still in her 50s.
But, as The Courier had previously reported, Mr Britton faced many struggles in his attempts to find her appropriate care and as a result he has taken steps to ensure others do not have to go through the same ordeal.
Mr Britton said: “The trust is about to launch a pilot project for people newly diagnosed with dementia and their immediate carer.
“In partnership with Age UK Warwickshire and three Leamington surgeries our aim is to work closely with them to deliver a bespoke navigator service to meet their unique needs from all available local services and support organisations.
“We need more volunteers to help us - ideally people who have personal experience of caring for a loved one with the illness who now feels able to offer that experience to others within their community.
“We also need help with many other aspects related to running such a service so if you are someone who has both empathy with the trust’s aims and a little time to spare please get in touch to find out more.”
Mr Britton has described his wife - a former photography business director and hotel administration lecturer - as an amazing woman.
She died aged 64 last February after developing blood clots in her lungs and brain.
She had spent some time in care homes in Warwick and Knowle but Mr Britton moved her home a few months before she died.
Despite her illness Mrs Britton had been physically active but in the months before her death her legs swelled up and she could no longer walk.
Mr Britton said doctors had fasiled to pick up on it and said sometimes he got the impression they were not able to “see through the dementia” and see the person.
Mr Britton said; “The trust’s aim os to offer a service which is bespoke and unique to each couple because every couple’s experience of dementia is unique.
“One in four of use will get it and it is a big and serious subject - people are getting it younger and younger.
“A lot of other illnesses get a lot of positive support but dementia and mental health has been cut a bad deal and it is only recently that politicians have started to talk about it.
“Charities and a lot of groups struggle with finding support and joined-up thinking.
“It’s not a pretty picture and I have had to fight hard for it.”
The three surgeries supporting the trust are the Waterside Medical Centre in Court Street, Sherbourne Medical Centre in Oxford Street and the Cubbington Road Surgery.
Three volunteers have been trained and are ready to offer their support.
Anbody who is interested in supportin gthe trust in any way can call Mr Britton on 07867 698073 or Age Uk Warwickshire at its office in Clemens Street, Leamington, on 458100.