Advancing high-quality dementia services has been highlighted as a key priority for 2020 by Shropshire’s largest independent care organisation.

Coverage Care Services operates 14 care homes across the region and is a specialist in providing blue ribbon dementia care.

Bert Nicholson with carer Julie Bance checking out virtual fish tank

However, with the number of people with dementia in Shropshire on the increase, chief executive Chris Wall says the need is greater than ever before for its staff and the wider business community to step up and to do more to support those living with the condition.

He said: “We’re fortunate in Shropshire to have a significant number of businesses which have already earned dementia-friendly status. This means people within our communities are already being supported to maintain as normal a life as possible but there is a great deal more we can do.

“With the start of the new decade and predictions of rising need in terms of dementia awareness, we are going to carry out a detailed review during 2020 to learn how we can develop and improve our dementia services in terms of supporting our staff and also striving to ensure the best possible environment within our dementia services to meet the rising dementia need in the communities we serve.”

A new website, which will be launched early in 2020 by the not-for-profit organisation, has also been carefully designed to assist people looking for information about care and support including dementia services.

Living with dementia can cause a range of difficulties for people including memory-loss, confusion and sometimes behavioural changes.

It can impact on self-confidence and physical well-being and sometimes this can make simple tasks like going shopping or visiting the bank, library or other community facilities really challenging.

According to a recent report the number of people with dementia nationally including in Shropshire will increase by nearly half in the next decade.

In addition local reports have suggested there are a significant number of people living with undiagnosed dementia in Shropshire.

Several Coverage Care homes have dedicated dementia units with Coton Hill House in Shrewsbury recently highlighted for its good practice following an inspection by independent watchdog Healthwatch Shropshire.

The organisation visited eight homes across the county to assess care provided to dementia residents and a report published afterwards said people were ‘overwhelmingly happy with the care they were receiving’.

Earlier this year Coverage Care’s Lightmoor View home in Telford underwent a major refurbishment to offer an enhanced level of care and support for people with dementia whilst Stone House in Bishops Castle has been transformed with meadow scenes on windows and walls to provide a more stimulating environment. The environment at other Coverage Care homes is also subject to constant improvement and investment.

The not-for-profit organisation, which is celebrating one of its most successful years with all homes in its portfolio now rated either ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ by independent care home inspectors, has seen demand for all its dementia care services increase over the last 12 months.