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A Day in the Life of.. a Dementia Navigator

Tags

  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Alzheimer's Society
  • Alzheimers
  • Dementia
  • Dementia Diagnosis
  • Dementia Navigator
  • Memory
  • Memory Problems
  • Navigator
  • Post Diagnosis Support

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My name is Sue Acton and I am a Dementia Navigator working in North Warwickshire.

It’s 9am and I’m heading off to my first client visit of the day. My patch is quite large and a bit of a distance from my home – I cover all of North Warwickshire, including Nuneaton, but live in Leamington Spa – and I need to be in Atherstone for 10am. My briefcase is loaded up with client notes and lots of brochures and factsheets. As well as Alzheimer’s Society material I like to take along relevant information from other organisations such as Age UK and Guideposts Trust, plus details of local dementia services such as a Carer’s Café run by a local GP practice.

My first clients are long standing service users, a couple in their 80s called Mary and Fred. I chat with both Mary and Fred for a while, and then with just Mary. Fred, who cares full time for Mary, takes the opportunity to relax for an hour on his own, knowing Mary is safe – even a short break like this can make all the difference. Mary and I talk about her children and her time as a wartime evacuee, but after a while she becomes emotional – she is terrified of ‘going mad’ and being ‘put away’. Despite the difficulties, it’s clear there is a lot of love between her and Fred. I agree a date for another visit and ask Fred to keep me posted on his Community Care Assessment – I’m concerned that Fred needs more support in his role as carer.

It’s now approaching lunchtime and I have an hour before my next visit, and so I grab a sandwich and coffee at a nearby garden centre. I write up my notes – having an iPad makes it so much easier to keep on top of things when I’m out all day – and also call my boss to discuss a couple of things, including my taking part in a post diagnostic support group set up by the Memory Service team in Nuneaton.

At 1pm it’s time for my second home visit of the day in Coleshill – a new client referred to us by one of our volunteers. Joan cares full time for Roger, and is finding things extremely tough. I simply listen for a while as Joan tells me her story, something that a lot of people want to do at the first meeting. As well as dementia, Roger has a number of physical problems that are in many ways harder to manage, and mean Joan cannot leave the house for more than an hour. I learn that Roger served in the army, and so I agree to look into services provided by The Royal British Legion which may be of use. I also encourage Joan to approach social services for further support. I leave feeling I haven’t been of much use, at least for now.

Today is slightly unusual in that I have a third visit late afternoon – I am meeting Andrew and his son Liam to discuss his wife Kate’s recent diagnosis. Kate and Andrew are relatively young and Andrew still works full time, hence the later than usual meeting. We are getting together in a café in Nuneaton as Andrew feels it would be helpful for him to be able to talk freely.

Again I have an hour before the meeting and so I fire up the iPad – I want to research Roger’s medical condition as it’s not something I have heard of before. I also catch up with some emails and remind myself of Kate and Andrew’s details, as well as adding them to the list of younger clients I am compiling – as a Navigator team we are looking at how we can meet the needs of younger people with dementia and will be inviting them to a meeting to get their views.

At 4pm I track down Andrew and Liam in the café, after the inevitable embarrassment of approaching the wrong people first. We have a long chat covering a whole range of topics, from the genetics of Alzheimer’s to Kate’s symptoms, to the practicalities of Andrew sorting out Power of Attorney to enable him to make decisions for Kate when she is no longer able to do so. I agree to speak to a colleague at Guideposts with whom Andrew has already spoken, and to send some information about our CRISP programme. I also provide various factsheets as well as details of support groups in the area. We will meet again next month.

It’s been a long day, and I head home. Tomorrow I’ll be in the Leamington office all day, writing up the rest of my notes and following up agreed actions. Although this isn’t the easiest job at times and I find it tough when I can’t ‘fix’ things for people, equally I absolutely love it – as well as the satisfaction of helping others, I love meeting such a variety of people and the fact no two days are the same.

To find out more about Warwickshire’s Dementia Navigators’ service please contact Alzheimer’s Society Warwickshire on 01926 888 899 or email dementiapartnership@warwickshire.gov.uk 

(The photographs used on this website are for illustrative purposes only)

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Dementia Cafés in Warwickshire

Tags

  • alcester
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • atherstone
  • Bedworth
  • bidford
  • bulkington
  • Carers
  • carers support
  • community support
  • Dementia
  • Dementia Cafe
  • Dementia Diagnosis
  • kenilworth
  • leamington spa
  • Living Well with Dementia
  • memory cafe
  • north warwickshire
  • Nuneaton
  • Peer Support
  • Rugby
  • shipston
  • Stratford
  • Warwick
  • Warwickshire
  • wellesbourne
  • whitnash

People with dementia often say that following the diagnosis they lose the confidence to socialise. Family members often feel left out and experience social isolation, due to the impact that the caring role has on their time and relationships.

Dementia cafés are drop-in centres offering a friendly and safe environment, where people living with dementia, and their family and friends, can come to meet others who are in the same boat, have a chat over a cup of coffee, share experiences and information, and learn about support available in their local communities.

Dementia cafés offer sessions with speakers from a range of organisations covering a variety of topics that help to support individuals living with dementia, their spouses, partners or children. The cafés can also provide a range of fun activities including singing and playing games from the past.

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Dementia café near me

To find a dementia café that is local to you please visits Warwickshire Directory of services. Below is also a list of local dementia cafés, and contact details for any enquiries.

 

Warwick District
The Memory Café
Woodloes Tavern, Woodloes Avenue South, Warwick, CV34 5RN
Contact: Paul Murren, Tel: 01926 490327
When they meet: 1st and 3rd Monday of the month – 2.30pm – 4.30pm
Memory Café
Brunswick Healthy Living Centre
98-100 Shrubland Street, Leamington Spa, CV31 3BD
Contact: Brunswick Hub, Tel: 01926 422123
When they meet: 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month
Singing for the Brain
Brunswick Healthy Living Centre
98-100 Shrubland Street, Leamington Spa, CV31 3BD
Contact: Alzheimer’s Society Warwickshire, Tel: 01926 888899
When they meet: Every Tuesday, 10.15-11.45am
Musical Memories at The Moorings
The Moorings Bar and Restaurant, Myton Road, Leamington Spa, CV31 3NY
Contact: Age UK Warwickshire, Tel: 01926 458100
When they meet: The last Monday every month (except bank holidays) – 10.00am-12.00pm
Forget-me-not Club
The Lawns care Home, 1 Gleave Road, Whitnash, CV31 2JS
Contact: Runwood Homes Ltd. Tel: 01926 425 072
When they meet: 10.30am to 12.30pm every first Wednesday
The Little Ray of Sunshine
The Kenilworth Centre, Kenilworth
Contact: Tel: 01926 855205
When they meet: please contact organisers for details
Waverley Dementia Carers Group
Waverley Day Centre, Waverley Road, Kenilworth, CV8 1JL
Contact: Waverley Day Centre, Tel: 01926 858433
When they meet: 3rd Saturday of the month, from 10.30am-12.30pm
Dementia Café
Waverley Day Centre, 65 Waverley Road, Kenilworth, CV8 1JL
Contact: Alzheimer’s Society Warwickshire, Tel: 01926 888899
When they meet: First Saturday of the month 10.30am to 12.30pm
Dementia Café
Blackdown Priors House
Old Milverton Lane, Blackdown, Leamington Spa, CV32 6RW
Contact: Tel: 0333 321 1924
When they meet: last Friday of the month, from 11am-12.30pm
Stratford District
Dementia Café
St Andrew’s Church, Church Lane, Shottery, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 9HQ
Contact: Alzheimer’s Society Warwickshire, Tel: 01926 888899
When they meet: Third Tuesday of the month 12noon to 2.00pm
Café WRAP – Stratford
Bishopton Primary School Community Centre, Drayton Avenue, Stratford upon Avon,
CV37 9PB
Contact: Warwickshire Reminiscence Action Project, Tel: 0780 3729894
When they meet: Every Friday – 2.00pm – 4.pm
Café WRAP – Wellesbourne
Wellesbourne Village Hall, School Rd, Wellesbourne, CV35 9NH
Contact: Mike Strophair      on 07803729894 or the WRAP office on 01789 778431.
When they meet: Every Wednesday – 2.00 – 4.00 pm
Springfield Dementia Wellbeing Café
Stratford Methodist Church, Old Town, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6BG
Contact: Springfield Mind Tel: 01789 298615
When they meet: Saturdays – 10:00am – 12.00
Alcester Café
The Jubilee Centre, Jubilee Hall, (off St Faith’s Road), Alcester, B49 6AG
Contact: Alcester Dementia Café, Tel: 01789 488088
When they meet: Every Tuesday and Friday (except Good Friday, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day) 10.30am-12.30pm
Bidford Dementia Café
Westholme Court in Bidford on Avon, B50 4AL
Contact: Wendy – 0771 364 8716
When they meet: every Monday (except Bank Holidays) 10.30am – 12.30pm
Dementia Café
Stour Court, Shipston-on-Stour, CV36 4HF
Contact: Alzheimer’s Society Warwickshire, Tel: 01926 888899
When they meet: First Friday of the month 2.00pm to 3.30pm
Stour Valley Dementia Carers’ Group
Ellen Badger Hospital, Stratford Road, Shipston on Stour, CV36 4AX
Contact: Stour Valley Carers Support Group, Tel: 01608 663808 or 01608 686013
When they meet: 3rd Friday of the month
Rugby Borough
Dementia Café
The Oasis, 1st floor, Rugby Health and Wellbeing Centre, Drover Close, Rugby, CV21 3HX
Contact: Alzheimer’s Society Warwickshire, Tel: 01926 888899
When they meet: 1st of each month
Rugby Dementia Support Group
Location: various
Contact: Jane Muers (01788 576854 / 07816 433619) or Jill Perry (01455 823570 / 07799 785647)
When they meet:

  • Thursday Together: a social evening for people with dementia and those who support and care for them. We meet from 6.30pm till 8.30pm on the second Thursday of the month at the Garden Gate, 44 Regent Street, Rugby, CV21 2PS.
  • First Friday Together runs from 10.30am to 12 noon on the first Friday of the month at the Claremont Centre, 43 Clifton Rd, Rugby, CV21 3QE.
  • For those caring for someone now in residential care: From 9.30am till 10.30am on the first Friday of the month at Claremont there is a meeting for those caring for someone now in residential care to share and support each other.
  • Pub Lunches held every other month, with transport available
  • Music Sessions: We run a monthly music session for people with dementia and those who support or care for them. This runs from 10.30am till 12 noon usually on the third Friday of the month at the Friends Meeting House, 28 Regent Place, Rugby, CV21 2PN
  • Bereaved Support Group: a monthly meeting for coffee/tea and sometimes lunch as well. This group is for people who have been bereaved following caring for a person close to them who had dementia and would like support and an opportunity to share experiences, and for companionship.
Rugby Community Care
Wood Street, Rugby, CV21 2NN
Contact: Carole or Rachel Tel: 07907510899
When they meet: open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays – 10 till 3
Forget-Me-Not Dementia Support Café
Anya Court care home, Dunchurch Road, Rugby,  CV22 6HX
Contact: Anya Court care home, Tel: 01788 811976
When they meet: As off Tuesday 10 May, the group will be meeting on Second Tuesday of each month, 2.30 – 4.30pm
Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough
Friday Friends
The Garden Room, Bulkington Village Centre, Bulkington, CV12 9JB
Contact: Bulkington Surgery, Tel: 02476 733020
When they meet: 1st Friday of Every Month, 1.30pm-3.30pm
North Warwickshire Borough
Dementia Café
The Partnership Building, Coleshill Road, Atherstone, CV9 1BN
Contact: Alzheimer’s Society, Tel: 01926 888 899
When they meet: 3rd Thursday of the month, 10.30am to12.30pm
Dementia café
Volunteer Centre North Warwickshire,  White Hart House, Long St, Atherstone CV9 1AX
Tel: 01827 717073
When they meet: As off 16th May 2016 – details to be confirmed

If you would like to add details of a dementia cafe or support group running in Warwickshire but not listed above, please email: dementiapartnership@warwickshire.gov.uk

What other people said:

Dementia café offers good social interaction.

The café is a very good resource of information and is very supportive.

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