Published Mon, 2012-02-20 19:02; updated 34 weeks ago.
The Take Heart project in Stoke-on-Trent offers support and advice to people who show signs that they may develop dementia.
Key to its success is the identification and referral of 'at risk' patients by professionals working in other spheres.
A bespoke 'Alerter Checklist' has been developed to provide a consistent test for identifying patients who could benefit from the Take Heart project.
The checklist test is conducted with anyone who shows all three of the the dementia indicators.
These are: Lack of attention or difficulty focusing, vascular problems and mental health issues such as depression.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council's rehabilitation team is one of the organisation's to have embraced the referral scheme.
The team refer people to the Take Heart project through a GP or reciprocally members of the Take Heart team refer patients who would benefit from the rehabilitation team to them.
The team helps to rehabilitate people who are not ill enough to be admitted to hospital, but who are also not capable of looking after themselves at home.
Social worker David Ingram, who works for the rehabilitation team, says the partnership with Take Heart is proving to be very fruitful.
He says: "We compliment each other very well. I get tips on what to look out for and in return I pass on my knowledge to them."
David says having the chance to point people in the direction of Take Heart, through GPs, has meant people have avoided the traditional route of going to day care centres for months on end.
He adds: "Encouraging people to get out more and get involved in the community wherever possible is what we are trying to achieve.
"Pointing them in the direction of Take Heart helps them to understand their problems and make progress."
Due for review February 2013