Age UK Medway
Age UK Medway is a voluntary organisation that has been in existence in the Medway towns for over 40 years. It provides support services for people age 50 plus. These support services currently include; 2 day centres (social clubs), 2 specialist dementia day centres, care in the community, bathing at home and in our centres, foot care at home or in our centres, Information and Advice, Insurance and products to help people remain independent in their own home, Charity shop, home from hospital. Age UK Medway has a dedicated team of staff and volunteers and is rooted in the community to improve and support the lives of older people.
- 12 April 2016
- South East
- Care, Voluntary Sector
- Local Alliances:
- Medway Dementia Action Alliance
1. Action Plan
1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA 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?
Our organisation has two specialist dementia day centres, one based in Chatham and a smaller dementia suite based in Gillingham. These centres have a running programme of activities which are specially designed for people with dementia. Both centres run a COGS group for people with memory concerns, who may, or may not have a diagnosis of dementia but could be supported with Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST).
We strive to improve the well-being of people with dementia and support for their family and loved ones. We raise awareness through events and fundraising activities and constantly look at ways of improving services. We engage with the local schools and give talks about dementia to reduce the stigma that is attached to this condition.
2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?
We often have people approach the dementia day centre quite late in their journey. However, much can be done to support people with dementia in the earlier and mid stages (mild to moderate) and raising awareness of the support that is available and reducing the stigma attached to the diagnosis could see people referred and supported at an earlier stage.
Supporting the carer and the cared for.
Staff training is ongoing at the capstone centre. During one training session it was highlighted how we can make the centre more dementia friendly. Staff noticed how the toilet door frames painted in white merged together with the white walls making the toilet areas difficult to find for some of our customers.
Art and music therapy sessions will soon be available one evening a month for carers to unwind and de stress for a while. Carers undergo huge amounts of stress on a daily basis and offering art and music therapy classes we hope to make a difference. The health of the carer is important in order for the cared for to remain at home for longer.
- Being implemented
Referring to the day centre.
Sadly we have found people are being referred to the capstone centre when families are in crisis. At this stage the person living with dementia has had their name put on a residential care home waiting list. In these cases the person only attends for four to twelve weeks before a place for them becomes available. The outcome is families wishing their relative had attended earlier with many people not realising the help that is available.
The stigma that often comes with a diagnosis has great bearing on how families feel. Often there is denial which delays any cognitive stimulation therapy with family carers feeling they can cope OK at home .The need to remove the stigma and referring to specialised centres seen as a positive approach to dementia care. This can be achieved by raising the profile of a care professional‘s role.
- Being implemented
We will continue to liaise with the local schools about dementia .By involving young adults who may have a relative with the condition we hope to remove some of the fear a diagnosis holds. We believe people can live well after diagnosis through supporting the person living with dementia and their families. Continuing throughout the different stages each person goes through.