Rory paid a visit this week to the Gaudium daycare centre in Penrith, which specialises in care for dementia patients, to meet with some of the centre’s users, and to discuss the future and concerns of local healthcare providers dealing with dementia care and care for the elderly in Cumbria.

Over the next twenty years, the number of people over 60 in Cumbria will double, and the number of individuals suffering from dementia will also double. Alzheimer care alone is expected to cost the local NHS an additional £20million every year. Rory discussed these concerns with the manager of Gaudium – Mariusz Waluk – who explained how his daycare centre is seeking to meet the needs of dementia suffers by providing support and care within an environment that is specifically tailored to their needs.

Rory agreed to write to Cumbria Social Services over concerns that a number of healthcare providers have now raised with him, including ways of ensuring all service users are made aware of the choice in local providers available to them.

Speaking after the visit, Rory said:

“Providing quality care for those suffering from dementia is something we absolutely must get right in Cumbria. With significant numbers of elderly people wanting to retire to the area, there is a real need to consider how we will be able to support their long-term care needs –  especially when over 50% of my constituents will be above retirement age in the next ten years.”

“Specialist care centres like Gaudium will need to be part of the solution, and I have been really impressed today with the fantastic service they offer, and the stories I have heard from staff and users on the quality of the service.”

“There are some fantastic organisations out there providing fantastic levels of care, but I do worry that we haven’t quite got a holistic strategy in place to ensure Cumbria offers the best dementia care in the country. I have written to Cumbria Social Services and NHS Cumbria, and remain very keen to do anything I can to support developments in local dementia care.”

Mariusz Waluk, manager of Gaudium said:

“It was a pleasure meeting Rory in our centre. I had a chance to discuss dementia care in Cumbria – one of the most important issues we face as the population ages. Rory listened with interest to our plans and assured his support. We agreed that private day care providers can play a significant role in caring for people with dementia. Gaudium is working very hard on dementia care guidance and I believe that our work will be recognised on national level soon.”

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