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Age Exchange

Age Exchange transform lives through Reminiscence Arts, honouring the personhood of individuals, which helps to combat isolation and loneliness, and improve wellbeing. We work with older people and those living with dementia, as well as engaging younger people in intergenerational work. We train carers in reminiscence arts, enabling person-centred care.

Updated:
5 August 2020
Location:
London
Sectors:
Care, Hospitals and Hospital Trusts, Housing Sector
Local Alliances:
Lewisham Dementia Action Alliance, Lambeth 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 will make sure that people living with dementia receive the best possible service by placing them at the centre of everything we do; listening and responding to their needs. We will work collaboratively with them, regularly collecting and responding to feedback, ideas and suggestions. We will run our weekly groups for people living with dementia and their carers through a Co-production model, recognising that those affected are best placed to make decisions that impact upon their health and well-being. We will use what we learn from those accessing our service to provide training and consultancy in Reminiscence Arts to professionals such as health and social care staff, in order to improve the care of people living with dementia.

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

We will find difficulties in measuring the far-reaching health benefits of our Reminiscence Arts intervention due to the challenges of quantifying improved well-being. We will overcome this by using our bespoke Measurement Framework, produced as a result of guidance we received from New Philanthropy Capitol, who helped us develop robust evaluation tools to capture our impact. This includes one standardised measure and several non-standardised ones, including a ‘dementia-friendly’ assessment tool to enable those living with dementia to contribute their thoughts and feelings.

Member website

www.age-exchange.org.uk

2. Actions

  • To support carers to maintain their own health and wellbeing

    What we are going to do:

    • Provide opportunities to meet others similarly placed through our groups – both virtually via online meetings and in-person.
    • Give targeted advice and support to help carers access relevant services (respite, care packages, home adaptations, etc.).
    • Share knowledge of dementia and its effects in order to both reassure and empower carers.
    • Offer a joint respite model, where carers can engage with groups and services offered as much as their loved one, giving them a break from their caring role, a chance to try something new and to have fun.
    Status:
    Being implemented
  • To improve the quality of life and care of older people and those living with dementia

    What we are going to do:

    • Strive to improve the quality of our service through providing frequent opportunities for feedback on our service and listening and responding to this.
    • Keep our knowledge of the needs of older people and those living with dementia up-to-date, learning from both experts by experience and experts by profession to enhance our practice.
    • Network with other relevant organisations to share our expertise and benefit from being exposed to the expertise of others, refusing to work in silo.
    • Disseminate the culmination of our findings through different means, including role-modelling high quality care, speaking at conferences and producing training and other resources to increase access to Reminiscence Arts techniques.  
    Status:
    Being implemented
  • To reduce isolation and loneliness

    What we are going to do:

    • Run weekly groups that give people living with dementia the opportunity to meet others.
    • Create safe spaces free from stigma and judgement.
    • Provide opportunities for creative engagement, meaningful activity and fun.
    • Implement intergenerational projects, encouraging learning between generations and togetherness.
    • Ensure support is at hand for appropriate sign-posting and advice.  
    Status:
    Being implemented