Dementia Companion Service

I am an independent qualified Social Worker working alone with people who have dementia and their carers/families on a face to face basis. My 30 years plus working experience with older people in care homes, hospitals and the community is the cornerstone of being able to deliver an effective service and make a difference. Referrals are received from family members, GPs, Solicitors, Social Services and the South Lincs Dementia Support Group.

Updated:
7 February 2014
Location:
East Midlands
Sectors:
Communication, Finance, Health, Care, Recreation, Medical, Housing Sector
Local Alliances:
South Lincolnshire Dementia Action Alliance , Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists a number of outcomes that we are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

I am an independent qualified Social Worker working alone with people who have dementia and their carers/families on a face to face basis. My 30 years plus working experience with older people in care homes, hospitals and the community is the cornerstone of being able to deliver an effective service and make a difference. Referrals are received from family members, GPs, Solicitors, Social Services and the South Lincs Dementia Support Group. The requests are normally to assess a person for care services whether that be care at home or finding the right care home. Other referrals require me to begin working with a client with dementia who might not have insight into the risks they put themselves in. The aim here is to establish a rapport with that person, work closely with them and slowly introduce support and care. 

 

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

Challenges for Age Care Advice are-

The ability to make positive change for an individual when they might be in receipt of a poor level of care. Working alone and not within a large organisation does not hold the same clout. One of the most vulnerable groups are self funders who have no next of kin and lack capacity. No one will independently monitor their well being.

Making sure that people with dementia, their carers and other professionals become aware of my services available so that people then have the option of using them rather then depending on social services only.

The risk of becoming overwhelmed with work and my service, its quality and effectiveness, become diluted.

 

2. Actions

  • Continue to address poor practice when observed, insist of better care and monitor the changes. Report issues to bodies such as CQC if required.

    Status:
    Delivery

    2013 - Fourth Quarter update

    In progress

    2013 - Third Quarter update

    Yes this is and will be a consistent role for me.

    2013 - Second Quarter update

    This action will be a part of my role throughout my career. Many carers and families seek my advice and support as the carde for person might be in receipt of poor care via a home care agency, care home or when in hospital. The aim is to always address problems asap but some do lead to safeguarding events.

  • Work with partners of the South Lincolnshire DAA.

    Work alongside my partners within the South Lincs Alliance to raise issues around the quality of care received by people with dementia and to unite to force positive change. Just as important, also raise areas of good, creative practice within the South Lincs area.

    Status:
    Delivery

    2013 - Fourth Quarter update

    In progress

    2013 - Third Quarter update

    I do hope to with partners open a Dementia Hub in the south of the county. The skills, expertise etc are alrwady in place to bring this together and develop a much needed resource for carers/families especially.

    2013 - Second Quarter update

    Yes I do believe this is happening. Examples of good practice are being shared. Gaps in provision are identified also. We hope to be setting up a Dementia Companion Service where the cared for person and carer receive support/representation/advice etc throughout their dementia experience. People with dementia and their families will shape this service.

  • Setting up a service.

    Set up a service where self funders in care homes and those who have care at home have an opportunity for a professional to review their care and make changes that improve that persons quality of life.

    Status:
    Implementation

    2013 - Fourth Quarter update

    In progress

    2013 - Third Quarter update

    Remains difficult to find such work although I know there are so many residents in need of advocacy.

    2013 - Second Quarter update

    This area of work remains a passion of mine, however there has been little interest from care homes after presentng the service to them. It is an action we will keep on promoting.

  • Developing awareness.

    When supervising newly qualified social workers in neighbouring counties, help develop their awareness of when the level of care delivered to a person might not be acceptable and consider ways of addressing this.

    Status:
    Delivery

    2013 - Fourth Quarter update

    In progress

    2013 - Third Quarter update

    Yes this role continues and will do with whoever I supervise/mentor.

    2013 - Second Quarter update

    Yes Simon Jessop is currently mentoring 4 newly qualified social workers in a neighbouring county. Through regualr reflective supervision many scenarios regarding service users with dementia are discussed. It is important for all social care staff to take time and try and put themselves in the shoes of dementia sufferers and carers.

  • Keep my caseload to around half of that expected if working as a local authority social worker.

    Status:
    Delivery

    2013 - Fourth Quarter update

    In progress

    2013 - Third Quarter update

    The Dementia Companion Service is growing due ot its fantastic outcomes. I will be focussing on this service in the future and letting go of other roles/projects.

    2013 - Second Quarter update

    This is a challenge indeed as we will not turn people away when seeking help. The diary is always full. We sdo not want to dilute support because there are too many people to assist.

  • Improve integrated working. Set up Social Work Surgeries within GP practices.

    Status:
    Implementation

    2013 - Fourth Quarter update

    In progress

    2013 - Third Quarter update

    We are now running social work surgeries within 3 large medical practices in Stamford and Oakham. This gives patients, carers, GPs and Nurses the opportunity to have face to face contact with a social worker. GPs also refer patients on if the problem is around a social care issue saving them time and the patient receives expert advice. There is no cost of this service to anyone.

    2013 - Second Quarter update

    New member

  • Dementia Companion Service.

    Status:
    Implementation

    2013 - Fourth Quarter update

    In progress

    2013 - Third Quarter update

    In progress

    2013 - Second Quarter update

    New member