Age UK Sheffield
Age UK Sheffield has been providing support to Sheffield's over 50s through a variety of services for over 30 years. Have a look around our website to find out what we currently offer and how we are working to improve the quality of life of thousands of older people across the city. Whether you're an older person yourself, caring for an older friend or relative, a professional working with older people or simply interested in the issues affecting older people, we hope you'll find the site interesting and useful.
- 8 August 2014
- Yorkshire and Humber
- Care, Voluntary Sector
- Local Alliances:
- Sheffield 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?
Age UK Sheffield staff, volunteers and student social workers on placement provide:
- tailored support for people affected by memory loss, with or without a diagnosis (this includes giving support to the friends and family of those directly affected by memory loss);
- opportunities for people affected by memory loss to participate in peer group activities, such as going to the cinema;
Working with individuals, friends, family and professionals, as appropriate, we facilitate client access to whatever resources, facilities and services they need to maintain independent living and plan for the future.
Age UK Sheffield reaches those living with memory loss through many routes, including self-referral by phone or face-to-face in our city centre shop, or by referral from friends, family or partner organisation.
Our services are funded by contracts or individual paying customers. All of our services support older people living with memory loss. Some are for the exclusive use of those living with memory loss.
Age UK Sheffield devotes substantial resources to working in close partnership with many others across the city to achieve the very best for all older people.
2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?
The primary challenge is the lack of resources available to provide the support needed. Age UK Sheffield works closely with all other service providers to ensure that clients have access to whatever they need. However, significant resources are only available to those with a formal diagnosis and many people with memory loss do not have a formal diagnosis.
Many resources are specifically related to the health impact of the disease. In addition to the health impact, people living with memory loss face the same everyday life problems that everyone else faces although these problems are likely to be further exacerbated by memory loss. Insufficient resources, across the system, are available to assist those with memory loss with everyday living. E.g. if someone is struggling to pay their utility bills because they are on very low income, that problem is that much harder to resolve if they don’t remember whether or not they have made the payment.
Stigmatisation and low expectations for those living with memory loss are a common place and shared by individual older people, friends, family and professionals. If they remain unchallenged, these low expectations inhibit and restrict the options open to people and seriously reduce their quality of life.
Independent Living Coordinators
For the past three years, Age UK Sheffield has been developing an Independent Living Coordinator service. Age UK Sheffield’s Independent Living Coordinators (ILCs) provide flexible, rapid and highly responsive support that complements, adds value to, and assists in the co-ordination of existing services. They facilitate access to the resources older people at risk of decline need for independent living, social inclusion, well-being and resilience. Eligibility for the service is determined by the funder, however, a significant proportion of all service users are living with memory loss and/or are carers for those living with memory loss.
To complete our Independent Living Coordinator service pilots, developing the service in response to client needs, monitoring and analysing performance and
Dementia Friendly service providers
To secure the active engagement of selected commercial providers to establish a dementia-friendly approach to customer service.
To design and complete an in-house training programme to ensure a consistent and appropriate approach across the organisation. All staff, volunteers and student social workers on placement to undergo the programme which will include a series of seminars, in-depth review of case studies and completion of the Social Care Institute for Excellence E-learning Open Dementia Programme.