The Take Heart project does not aim to improve people’s memory. Instead, it helps people with suspected dementia to understand the causes of their condition and provides advice and information to help control contributory cardiovascular factors.
97 per cent of the people referred during the pilot period of this project scored higher in well-being tests after they had received help and support through Take Heart.
Two full-time nurses deal with referrals from all 70 GP surgeries in Stoke-on-Trent.
By late 2010 the Take Heart project had helped 308 people. In addition to running support and advice classes, it runs home care services.
The Alerter Checklist health helps professionals to identify people showing three early warning signs of dementia. Referrals come in from GP surgeries and from professionals in other fields such as Social Services and Mental Health Care.
The Take Heart project is expected to be rolled out across the West Midlands and it is hoped it will be of assistance in tackling the dementia problem nationally.