Caring Together in Woodhouse and Little London

Caring Together is a neighbourhood scheme for older people, working in the inner-city communities of Woodhouse and Little London. We work hard to support over 300 older people, living in their own homes. We offer advice, advocacy, practical support and a wide range of social and healthy living activities, to help older people keep well and happy and living independently. We also have an excellent befriending scheme and access to intergenerational computer training for older people. We employ a small staff team and also have around 100 volunteers’ who help with all aspects of our neighbourhood work. We also have excellent links with other agencies, who are concerned for the welfare of older people. We offer home visits, an initial assessment, a winter support initiative for our oldest members and annual day trips and a party.

Updated:
28 October 2014
Location:
Yorkshire and Humber
Sectors:
Health, Care, Recreation, Voluntary Sector, Membership Organisations
Local Alliances:
Leeds 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 currently work successfully with a small but significant number of older people with dementia and their carers.  We also work with older people with this condition, who really don’t have a carer. 

We have several social and healthy living groups that are open to people with dementia and other life limiting mental health conditions  We also have a group for older people and their carers, that meets once a week. 

We have a befriending scheme (with the help of volunteers) and we can offer on-going support via home visits and referrals to other appropriate agencies.

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

Lots of issues here and the most pressing is funding.  All our staff and services, are dependent on grant funding and donations – we receive very little statutory funding!

Working with older people with significant mental health deterioration is time consuming and painstaking. However, we have years of experience of building up trust with vulnerable older people and their carers and persuading them to get involved with what we do.

We are seeing an increase in the numbers of older people we work with, who have memory problems and other serious mental health conditions. We think this stems from our existing members’ (older people) getting older and frailer and also more referrals from other agencies and particularly health and Adult Social Care

Everything we do, depends on us raising the necessary funds, for staff, group activities and disabled accessible transport.

Member website

www.caringtogether.org.uk

2. Actions

  • Improve staff and volunteer understanding of dementia

    We will continue to identify appropriate training for staff and volunteers and in this way we will keep this growing health condition firmly on our agenda.

    Status:
    Delivery
  • Provide Appropriate Activity Groups

    We will work hard to raise the necessary funds, to keep several of our activity groups going and that are particularly enjoyable for older people with dementia – our Memoirs, Friday Group, Rainbows and Choir.   

    Status:
    Delivery
  • Outreach Work and Home Visits

    We will continue to identify older people, who are currently not in touch with our project. We will do this via links with other agencies, including local health centres and statutory agencies. We will distribute posters, leaflets and give talks to interested agencies/people.  Thereafter, we will do our best to get new members’ involved with what we do.

    Status:
    Delivery, Implementation, Planning
  • Future

    We are an inclusive project, who never turns an older person away.  We have been congratulated on the way we work with older people, regardless of ill-health, disability, ethnicity, age or sexual orientation. 

    We work successfully, with older people, ranging in age from 55 to nearly 100 and that takes quite a lot of innovative thinking and creativity.  We continue to prioritise older people who are isolated, lonely, frail and ill and including individual older people with dementia and other life limiting mental health conditions.

    Status:
    Being implemented