Alzheimer's Society - Wakefield and Five Towns
Alzheimer's Society is the UK's leading support, care and research charity for people with dementia, their families and carers. We provide information and support for those with any form of dementia and their carers. We advise and train professionals working in the field, fund research, run quality support and campaign for improved health and social care and greater public understanding of dementia. We work in partnership with other organisations both in health, social care, voluntary and private sector to ensure that support is always there for people with dementia and there carers. We work with partners to support people to receive a timely diagnosis, that the condition is understood, and that people with dementia have the same rights as other members of society. We will achieve this through funding scientific breakthroughs, strengthening communities by increasing understanding of the needs of people with dementia and their carers, and striving to put an end to discrimination and stigma.
- 10 June 2014
- Yorkshire and Humber
- Care, Voluntary Sector, Health
- Local Alliances:
- Wakefield and Five Towns Dementia Action Alliance, Yorkshire & Humber 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 Dementia Support Service in Wakefield provides one-to-one support to people with dementia, carers and family members. This service is unique to a person’s individual circumstances and the information and support may include legal and money matters, understanding dementia, support for carers in crisis and reducing isolation by offering home visits and activity groups.
We run Forget-Me-Not Cafes, gardening group, games group, Singing for the Brain and additional activities such as Pet Therapy, Circle Dancing and Chair Zumba. All groups and activities are accessible to people living with dementia and their carers.
We also provide an information programme for carers which consists of four sessions covering understanding dementia, legal and money matters, looking after others and looking after yourself. Each week a different topic is covered and this is an opportunity for carers to share knowledge and experiences.
We work in partnership with other groups and organisations to ensure that support is always there for people living with dementia and support and advise other organisations on how they can deliver their services in an accessible manner.
2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?
The primary focus for our services is to support people with dementia, their families and carers. The challenges we face include awareness raising, timely diagnosis and the stigma and misunderstanding of dementia.
Dementia is higher on the public and political agenda than it has ever been and public awareness is rising but understanding remains poor. For example generally people do not understand how they can impact positively on a person living with dementia and that it is possible to live well with dementia and to make big differences to quality of life.
Many of the people who access our services are at crisis point, at times people with dementia are diagnosed too late. This means them and their carers do not get the information and support they need resulting in social isolation, exclusion and ultimately the breakdown of the home living arrangements.
We support a wide range of people with varying needs, wants and expectations and need to ensure we fully understand what matters in order to develop our services to meet the needs of the service users.
We are finding referrals, diagnosis and the general public’s awareness of dementia is growing in numbers and we need to ensure we are keeping up with this momentum and meet the needs of those who can and will live well with dementia.
There is a limited amount of funding going into dementia research compared to other major disease groups like cancer.
In a difficult economic climate we need to clearly make the case for action on dementia to achieve better outcomes in a cost effective way.
Improve the awareness, knowledge and understanding of dementia in the wider community
We will champion public understanding of dementia through national and local awareness campaigns, and by supporting people with dementia to speak out and tell their own stories.
We will continue to facilitate the Community Dementia Forum in Wakefield to enable people with Dementia and their carers to have a voice.
We will continue to work with other organisations to ensure our messages and information reaches as widely across Wakefield as possible.
We will continue to provide information and awareness talks to community groups, health and social care professionals, housing associations, voluntary organisations and interested parties to raise awareness and reduce stigma.
Ensure that all of our supports, services and everything that we are involved in are friendly and supportive towards people with dementia and carers
We will facilitate the views of our service users and will ensure that key professionals are aware of the issues faced by people with dementia and those that care for them.
We will complete six monthly evaluations to ensure we are frequently reviewing our services and ensuring they are reflective of the wants and needs of those we support.
We will develop new services with input and feedback from those who access our services.
We will continue to provide local information and support services for the people of Wakefield. Our Dementia Support Service provides one to one support to people with dementia, carers and family members and is unique to personal circumstances. The service provides information and practical support to help greater understanding about dementia, and to support service users with dementia.
Develop Quality Information and Support Services
We will continue to develop quality information and support services in Wakefield for people with dementia, their carers and families through local information and support services, our website, and help lines. We will engage with health, social care, voluntary sector and private sector to ensure our services are shared and people with dementia and carers have the information they require to live well with Dementia.
We will build relations with BME voluntary sector groups to raise awareness about dementia within their communities and provide the carer information programme in 2014.
All services will be reviewed and evaluated to ensure we continue to provide needs lead services and support, promoting choice and control.
Actively Promote Membership and Benefits of DAA
We will continue to support the benefits and development of DAA through being an active member of the DAA steering group. We will continue to work collaboratively towards Wakefield being a dementia friendly community.
As steering group members we will actively engage with local business, community and voluntary groups to encourage membership of the DAA. We will also support local business and voluntary groups in developing action plans to ensure they achieve the status of being a dementia friendly organisation/business.