A DEMENTIA group is hoping to expand its pilot services to help more Wearsiders and their families who are suffering from the illness.
The news came at Action on Dementia Sunderland’s AGM, which was held at The Place in Sunniside.
The organisation, which runs special memory cafés for the benefit of Alzheimer’s sufferers and their carers, has piloted two programmes in the past year.
One is a hospital visiting service, which sees outreach support workers help patients cope with their dementia.
There is also a home visiting service, where carers are given a break from looking after their loved ones.
It’s believed there are about 3,300 people with dementia in Sunderland, with many of those still yet to be diagnosed.
“I think we have been, given the circumstances, very busy in the past year,” said chairman Ernie Thompson. “We have become a registered charity and been successful despite the economic climate.
“We want to continue both of the pilot schemes which have been very well received, so we are seeking further funding to do this.” Members are hopeful they will scoop money after they entered the Echo’s Do A Lotto Good campaign to win cash from the Big Lottery Fund.
Dr Paul Donaghy, a clinical research associate at Newcastle University, was at the meeting to talk about research into dementia treatments in front of the assembled audience.
Deputy Mayor of Sunderland, Coun Stuart Porthouse, also attended.
He said: “We believe it is very important to help in promoting all the good work carried out by Action on Dementia Sunderland.
“It’s very important knowing that any money donated is spent on the residents of Sunderland.
“Dementia is a disease that affects 820,000 people in the UK.
“Most people with dementia are over 65 and, therefore, affects many family members who become carers.
“Dementia is very often a lengthy journey, often 15 years or more, and the more we can contribute to this very worthy charity, the more help can be done in the community.”