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Navigating the system with real people

In response to more older people being diagnosed with a dementia-related disease, and an increasing demand for community support for people with dementia and their carers, Waikato DHB, in conjunction with Alzheimers Waikato, have launched a new service.

The purpose of this service is to assist the person with dementia and their primary carer by linking them with an experienced  person from Alzheimers Waikato who will help them ‘navigate’ the system. This person is called a navigator.

The service is a natural extension of the existing ALZWELL programme offered by Alzheimers Waikato and in most cases the service will be accessed once carers have completed the ALZWELL programme.

The research shows that having a knowledgeable person providing direction when needed;  promoting understanding of services available, and how and when to access these as needs change is important effective.  The navigator ‘walks’ alongside the carer on their unique journey with dementia, as the end point is not always clear and the journey can take many unexpected turns.

The long term purpose of the service is to support the carer so that the person with dementia can remain living in their own home for as long as they and the person(s) caring for them can be safely supported to do so.

Alzheimers Waikato manager, Sue O’Donnell, says that Alzheimers Waikato is delighted to be able to offer this level of service to carers of people with dementia.

Further information about the service and how to access this support can be obtained from Alzheimers Waikato on 07 929 4042.

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