Forward Carers CIC
We at Forward Carers are passionate about creating 'Carer-friendly Communities’, so that Carers are better recognised and their contribution to society is truly valued. Forward Carers is a West Midlands based Carer and family support organisation. We pride ourselves on making a real difference to the lives of people caring for elderly, frail, sick or disabled family members through working in partnership. As well as offering support to Carers direct, we also advise and support organisations such as public body commissioners, providers and employers, in the following areas: Statutory Carer’s Assessment; Outcome-focused partnerships; Case management systems; Carer quality of life tracking; Marketing including website design, digital marketing including growing online capability; Carer health facilitation and Corporate wellbeing.
- 25 March 2021
- West Midlands
- Local Alliances:
- Birmingham 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?
Although our primary focus is the carer, we understand that supporting the carer to undertake their role has a very positive effect on the person with dementia too.
There could be more than 16,000 people in Birmingham with dementia today. The majority of them will be supported by a carer. Our role includes:
Helping those people supporting loved ones and friends with dementia to see themselves as “carers” (outcome 6);To help them access the support that already exists for carers (outcome 3);To make sure that they understand their rights as carers, not least their right to a Carers Assessment as defined by the Care Act 2014 (outcome 4); andTo support carers to improve their own wellbeing (outcome 5).
Our role also extends to drawing different organisations together to create pathways, so that families get to the information and support they need. Being funded by the City Council and the CCG, we are a critical part of the infrastructure of the City and we have created a network of organisations which can reach into the many different communities and cultures of the City, to start having conversations about their family’s situation.
2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?
One of the key challenges for us is working to deliver a pathway. Many organisations will contribute to the care of the person with dementia and the support of the carer(s), but we need to work together and work to each organisation’s strengths.
‘Dementia’ and ‘carers’ are terms that very few people understand properly. Another challenge is to create Carer friendly Communities – and we’re setting out to make Birmingham the first Carer friendly City.
We’re also investing in developing our staff. We understand that the conversation one of our advisers has with a carer, might be the first time in ages that anyone has asked them “how are you?”. They will have been through lots of appointments, the anguish of a diagnosis, the shock of telling family and friends. That’s why it’s so important that we can show empathy and start to ask and answer some of the tricky questions.
To create a Carers’ Pathway for Birmingham
We are working with the CCG commissioners and established service providers to co-design a Pathway so that carers can get the support that they need.
We have already contributed to an early revision of the Dementia Strategy for Birmingham.
Creation of a specialist team of advisers to support carers, caring for someone with dementia
We have created a new team of advisers, hosted at Age Concern Birmingham as part of the Birmingham Carers’ Hub.
The team will receive training and on-going development so that they can become a resource for Birmingham as a whole and a key element of the Carers’ Pathway.
Creating Carer Friendly Communities
One of the elements of this programme that Covid-19 didn’t derail were our Carer Friendly Business Awards.
We will soon start work on our 2021 awards and we’ll add an award category for services to carers caring for someone with dementia.
Supporting Dementia Friendly Communities
We are supporting Dementia Friendly Stirchley with their 2021 programme of activities and are looking at way in which we can support other communities to take their first steps to making their communities dementia friendly too.
- Being implemented