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Warwickshire hits its 10,000 Dementia Friends Challenge target

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An ambitious target set at the start of this year to encourage 10,000 people to become Dementia Friends has been reached in under 10 months.

Latest figures from the Alzheimer’s Society have today confirmed there are more than 10,300 Dementia Friends in Warwickshire.

This means there are more Dementia Friends than people with dementia in the county.

Cllr Les Caborn, Warwickshire County Council’s Portfolio Holder for Health, said: “I’m delighted that in well under a year we could achieve this ambitious target of supporting 10,000 people to become Dementia Friends.

“In Warwickshire, there are estimated to be over 7,500 people living with dementia and this is likely to rise to over 9,000 people with dementia in the County by 2021. The fact is that most people in Warwickshire will be affected in some way by dementia during their lifetimes.”

Dr John Linnane, Warwickshire County Council’s Director of Public Health who became a Dementia Friend in October 2014, added: “A great deal of hard work has gone into reaching this target in Warwickshire and I look forward to this momentum around dementia awareness to continue to build.

“Now that we have achieved our initial target of creating 10,000 Dementia Friends, we will continue to create more Dementia Friends across Warwickshire. Our local Dementia Friends will also contribute to the national target – to create four million Dementia Friends in England by 2020.

“Our Dementia Friends drive is part of wider work around increasing awareness and understanding of dementia as part of Warwickshire’s Living Well with Dementia strategy. This also includes broader work,which includes such as creating dementia friendly communities, and providing dementia awareness training to front line staff in Warwickshire.”

Cllr Maggie O’Rourke, the county council’s Chair of the Adults, Health and Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee, added: “It’s great news that we have achieved the 10,000 target. Dementia Friends is an initiative led by the Alzheimer’s Society based on the principle that people with dementia can live well with a little help from other people. Becoming a Dementia Friend is about understanding a bit more about dementia and the small things that can help people with the condition. You don’t need to already know someone with dementia to become a Dementia Friend.”

In Warwickshire, according to latest estimates, there are 7,615 people living with dementia and this is likely to rise to over 9,000 people with dementia in the county by 2021. Most people in Warwickshire will be affected in some way by dementia during their lifetimes. (Delete as repeated from above)

Warwickshire County Council has worked with many partners and people in making 10,000 Dementia Friends possible, including all five district and borough councils, Clinical Commissioning Groups, Coventry and Warwickshire Primary Care Trust, South Warwickshire Foundation Trust, George Eliot Hospital, voluntary organisations and community groups, members of the Dementia Action Alliance, and the 20 Dementia Friends Champions in Warwickshire, who have been trained by the Alzheimer’s Society to deliver the one hour information sessions. (they received training from the Alzheimer’s Society to deliver the sessions)

To find out more about dementia visit http://www.livingwellwithdementia.org/

If you are not already a Dementia Friend and would like to become one you could attend the next session near you, or visit https://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/register-digital-friend and follow the online process.

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A day in life of … a Dementia Navigator, part 2 (Coventry).

My name is Michelle Brown and I work at the Alzheimer’s Society Coventry Office.

I have worked for the Alzheimer’s Society for almost six years, spending my first two years as a Leisure & Well-Being Worker supporting people with dementia to maintain their independence. I moved into the role of Dementia Support Worker after the funding for Leisure Workers stopped and have spent the last few years supporting people with Dementia and their carers to live well. In Coventry, we have recently combined the roles of Dementia Advisor and Dementia Support Worker into Dementia Navigators and I am now one of the Navigators supporting people in the city of Coventry to live as well as possible with Dementia.

It is a varied role with lots of work going on at the moment to promote the new service to other Health and Social Care Professionals in the city so my day is starting with a 9.30am meeting to present information about this to our local Adult Social Care Team. I have left them with several leaflets and referral forms to enable them to signpost people to us for support. The Department Manager thanked me for attending and felt the meeting was extremely beneficial to them all as they now felt they had a process for referring out for specialist support to people who were living with Dementia in the community.

As I arrive back in the office, it is straight into a team meeting with my line Manager and the other Dementia Navigator’s to discuss how the new service is ‘bedding in’ and identify any issues that may need addressing. We agree that the processes appear to be working well so far although minor changes to ensure assessment paperwork matches the requirements of CRS are noted.

It is now 12.30pm and I log on for the first time today to be met with a couple of telephone call-backs to service users, one who needed information about day centres and the other to discuss feelings around moving a person with dementia into a care home. The first call was dealt with by discussing different day centres and identifying what the carer felt was an appropriate setting . She asked for a list of the Day Centres in Coventry so that she could make enquiries herself and arrange to view a couple of them before deciding which day centre would be right for her husband. I agreed to post the relevant information and reassured her that should she need any further support with this matter she could call me back. The second call was from a service user I have been supporting for a couple of years. Mrs G was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Dementia approximately six years ago and she remains living at home with Mr G meeting most of her care needs. Throughout the Dementia journey, I have worked closely with Mr & Mrs G ensuring that domiciliary care and respite breaks have been arranged but Mr G feels he can no longer manage his caring responsibilities and has recently come to a decision to move his wife into a care home permanently. He wanted to speak to me today to help him come to terms with his decision and understand what would happen next now that the care home he had chosen had confirmed they had capacity to take her. I agreed to contact the social worker on his behalf to request that she contact Mr G and discuss procedures and timeframes. I will continue to support Mr G during this difficult time and provide useful information to help Mrs G’s move into care be as ‘smooth’ as possible (i.e. life history book to accompany her which will inform her new carers about her as a person and identify some of her own belongings he may take ahead to her new room so that when she arrives the space may feel familiar to her). Mr G has often stated that he feels the ongoing support from the Alzheimer’s Society has enabled him to continue caring for his wife at home.

After clearing a few emails it is now 2.00pm and I am about to leave the office to attend a pre-arranged home visit. I have my briefcase with me which contains my assessment paperwork and plenty of information about Alzheimer’s Society services in the city such as Dementia Cafe’s and Singing for the Brain along with information leaflets from other agencies such as Carer’s Trust and Age UK. It is important to be prepared and have this information so that we are able to signpost to other agencies if they are able to offer a service which meets a support need. At 2pm I attend the home of Mrs J who is looking after her husband. We received a referral from our local memory Clinic to request support for them both after Mr J was recently diagnosed with Mixed Dementia. It became clear during my visit that Mr & Mrs J are coping very well with the diagnosis and just wanted information about ‘getting their affairs in order’. We talk about Lasting Power of Attorney and I leave the relevant fact sheet with them along with a list of local solicitors they may contact to support them with this. I talk about social opportunities such as Dementia Cafe, Resource Cafe and Singing for the Brain and leave leaflets relating to the same. Mr J used to be in a band when he was younger and music has always been important to him so he seems quite positive about ‘giving Singing for the Brain a go!’. Mr & Mrs J both state they feel reassured to have a Dementia Navigator as a point of contact for information and support.

That is my shift in the office finished for the day however when I get home I have to do some reading and pack my bag for tomorrow as I am currently undertaking a two year Foundation Degree in Dementia Studies at Worcester University. I am just starting my second year and whilst it is hard work some days ‘keeping all the balls in the air, I am thoroughly enjoying the learning and feel I am constantly developing as a practitioner as a result of my studies. My passion for enabling people to live well with Dementia constantly motivates me in my work and I am fortunate to belong to a team here at Coventry who are just as driven.

For more information on services offered by Alzheimer’s Society Coventry, please visit:

Alzheimer’s Society services in Coventry area

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Plans are developing for a Bidford-on-Avon dementia cafe

On 16th September at 7pm, Bidford-on-Avon Health Centre held a talk on dementia led by Carole Zambonini  founder of the successful dementia cafe “Alcester Cafe” http://www.alcesterdementiacafe.org/.

The room was filled with around 60 people interested in dementia, how they could help within their local community and how Bidford-on-Avon could have a similar cafe to Alcester.

Carole started with a dementia friends session and went onto speak about her life as a carer to her mother and how Alcester Cafe was formed. She explained that Alcester Cafe is a one stop shop with support from Alzheimer’s, Age UK, CAB, WRAP and covers everything you need to know from power of attorney to information on different types of dementia. The cafe also helps with exercise, singing for memory and social sessions. It now has around 50 volunteers working on a rota and is open Tuesdays and Fridays 10.30-12.30 with everyone welcome. It is a drop in cafe so you can arrive any time during its opening hours and it is free of charge.

Dr Shackley, the senior partner at the Practice and other senior doctors were present and delighted with the presentation and very pleased with the number of people attending the Presentation.  They expressed their hope that together with the PPG they would be able to establish a similar provision to the Alcester Cafe in Bidford.  A venue had been identified and availability at times which did not clash with when Alcester Cafe was open.  There will be a meeting in November when it is hoped to get together all interested parties who are able to assist both practically and financially with a projected start date in January 2016.

If you want to find out more about the proposed cafe in Bidford, or would like to help, please contact Carole on 01789 488088.

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£750 raised at a local Bulldog Bash to support a new dementia day care in Alcester

Tags

  • alcester
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Alzheimers
  • bulldog bash
  • carers support
  • community
  • day care
  • Dementia
  • Dementia Cafe
  • dementia support
  • fundraising
  • hells angels
  • Post Diagnosis Support
  • Warwickshire

At their breakfast meeting Rotary Club of Alcester Alauna president Alan Mathewman presented a cheque for £750, raised at the Bulldog Bash, to Carole Zambonini. The money will go towards the starting of a day care centre for dementia in Alcester. An additional £250 was given by Hells Angels representatives.

The day centre is a follow on from the successful memory cafe, Alcester Cafe, which runs Tuesdays and Fridays 10.30-12.30pm in Jubilee Hall. The day centre committee are trying to find a suitable site in Alcester to start looking after people with dementia and provide carers with some respite. If you want to find out more about the proposed day care or would like to help please contact Carole 01789 488088.

group no cheques

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