Age Concern Liverpool & Sefton
Age Concern Liverpool and Sefton provides practical help, care and support to improve the quality of life for people aged 50 and over.
- 25 June 2019
- North West
- Care, Social Care, Voluntary, Voluntary Sector
- Local Alliances:
- Liverpool 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?
We provide person centred services (Nursing Home, Home Care and Day Care) for people living with dementia. We also provide support and information sessions for carers and advice on a wide range of relevant topics e.g. welfare benefits, conmmunity care, available services, direct payments etc.
We are part of the organising committe for the Liverpool City Region Older People's Forum which is a campaigning organisation promoting older people's interests including high quality dementia provision.
Full text of how we implement the National Dementia Declaration
1 I have personal choice and control or influence over decisions about me
Our services for people living with dementia (nursing home, day care centre, homecare) are al person centred in their approach. In practice this means that the person living with dementia is actively engaged in decisions taken about their care and they are able to exercise as much choice and control as their capacity permits.
2 I know that services are designed around me and my needs
All of our staff, including back office staff have had dementia awareness training. Our services are designed from the outset to be dementia friendly and then adapted and moulded to fit each individual’s needs and preferences. For example our dementia day care centre is open on weekdays from 8am to 6pm which means that it is available when a carer may be at work and provides care during the hours that an individual living with dementia may otherwise be alone and unsupported. We also have a social club (The Poppy Centre) which is able to support people in the very early stages of dementia, so that they have social activity and company and activities which require a higher level of ability than most of the individuals at the dementia day care centre still retain.
3) I have support that helps me live my life
We find out from each individual what their interests and aspirations are and tailor our services to meet these. For example, our homecare service can be used to escort a person living with dementia to the park because they like to walk in the fresh air; but are afraid of becoming lost. Our dementia day care and nursing home will arrange activities to meet individual wishes, so that one person may want to join in with chair based exercise, whilst another wants to do a jigsaw. Individuals are supported to articulate and exercise their preferences.
4) I have the knowledge and know-how to get what I need
Age Concern Liverpool & Sefton has an information & Advice service which is co-located in the same building as the dementia day care service and is also available via telephone. It provides information on welfare benefits, affordability issues, community care legislation, direct payments and the availability of other support services to help people living with dementia and their carers. Our staff are trained in how to deal effectively with people who may have memory issues or find it hard to assimilate and digest information.
5) I live in an enabling and supportive environment where I feel valued and understood
We have a maximum of 30 people at any point in time our nursing home. The staff at the home are trained to support people living with advanced dementia and adapt their approach to the needs and preferences of each individual. The staff are also experienced in communicating with individuals who may be confused, have limited communication skills or are completely non-verbal. Via skill and patience staff establish what individuals like and do not like and ensure that we react in a positive way to their preferences. We also encourage individuals to become part of a new community within the nursing home environment. We have games and activities designed to maintain skills but also to entertain and get people to join in with each other and begin new friendships.
6) I have a sense of belonging and of being a valued part of family, community and civic life
Our home care service supports people living with dementia to stay at home. It enables them to exercise enhanced choice and control by having a supportive, trained individual alongside the person living with dementia so that they can do things that otherwise might be beyond their confidence level or capability at that stage. Trips out, escorting individuals to social groups, to the pub, to a dementia friendly play, to a campaigning group or dementia support group – all are possible and foster community engagement and inclusion.
The dementia day care centre provides an opportunity for individuals to make new friends in a safe and supportive environment and to join in with group activities (or not) as preferred. We also bring in elements of the external community e.g. a therapy, petting dog, children from a local school and baby yoga, so that the people living with dementia are not cut off from the external community.
7) I know there is research going on which delivers a better life for me now and hope for the future
Age Concern Liverpool & Sefton is not a research organisation. Nevertheless we do have close contacts with research establishments such as The NIHR Clinical Research Network North West Coast (which helps to increase the opportunities for patients to take part in clinical research) and the City’s Universities. We engage with the researchers and where appropriate we provide individuals living with dementia the opportunity to participate in research.
2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?
The challenges to delivering these outcomes are:
Lack of financial resources which makes it difficult to sustain services and to remunerate staff at a level which facilitates retention
The difficulty in recruiting nurses and carers because of the national shortage of such personnel which is being compounded by concerns over post-Brexit employment legislation for EU nationals
A lack of marketing skills within the charity that are necessary to promote uptake of services which levy a fee for usage in order to make them financially viable
Current local rules governing use of carers’ vouchers and respite allowances which preclude carers from using these resources to pay for our day care facility
Dementia Day Care
1. To increase capacity within our dementia day care facilities to enable a minimum of 25 people per day to access the facilities and to provide additional rooms within the dementia day care centre facility to host small group activities and to provide quiet space
Carer support2. To host 10 group support sessions per annum for carers of people living with dementia
Nursing Home Care
3. To provide nursing home care in the North of Liverpool for 30 people living with dementia.