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Age UK South Lakeland

Age UK South Lakeland is an independent charity and has been operating locally since 1978. We have been a brand partner of the national charity Age UK since April 2010. Our services cover the whole of South Lakeland, and our impact locally is driven by the passion and dedication of our team of over 50 staff and over 300 volunteers, as well as our ability to raise much needed funds to sustain our work now and in the future. Sometimes the problems we face in later life can't be tackled on our own. We provide tailored information. We give one to one advice. We campaign locally. And we do much more, from organising village drop-ins to setting up lunch clubs, working with older people so that they can stay living well at home. Our purpose is to work with local older people to help them retain their independence and exercise real choice in their lives. We aim to do this by: • Delivering services that help to meet the needs of older people and fit with the other local services in the communities in which they live • Informing and advising older people of their rights and options • Advocating for and on behalf of older people on issues which matter to them as individuals or communities, consistently and constantly to ensure we fully understand their needs. We make a difference to the 18,000 people who use our services every year.

Updated:
2 July 2015
Location:
North West
Sectors:
Voluntary Sector
Local Alliances:
Kendal 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 South Lakeland assists people with dementia in South Lakeland to exert personal choice and control by providing information about available options, delivering services to help meet their needs and advocating on their behalf. We provide services such as 2 in 1 support groups which are designed to meet the needs of both people living with dementia and their carers. We offer people living with dementia the opportunity to take control of planning for their future wellbeing through the ‘My Life My Decision’ programme, to reduce their social isolation by accessing a range of opportunities including lunch clubs and the ‘Men in Sheds’ programme, and to make positive lifestyle changes with the support of our staff and volunteers. We work in close partnership with other local organisations through the Gateway Collaborative to ensure that our work is complementary to theirs and to offer the widest possible access to information and support for people living with dementia. Our publications are designed to be readily accessible and informative, and the person with dementia is able to access information about our services through various media, both traditional (e.g. leaflets) and non-traditional (e.g. the Gateway eHub), to suit their abilities and preferences.

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

The scope of Age UK South Lakeland’s interests and activities provides a challenge as we seek to ensure that the interests of people with dementia are fully represented in all aspects of our work from promoting social integration to benefits advice. Our staff and volunteers come from a wide range of backgrounds with variable knowledge of the experience of someone living with dementia, therefore ensuring that people with dementia are equally well supported wherever they come into contact with our organisation is a challenge, which is currently being addressed by making dementia awareness training available to all staff and volunteers. Maintaining ongoing, consistent support for people living with dementia when many available funding sources are short-term is also challenging, as is finding common ground with partner organisations on priorities for dementia provision without the benefit of an overarching dementia strategy.

2. Actions

  • Develop a dementia-specific training strand which will enable all staff and volunteers to access dementia training appropriate to the needs of their specific roles

    We are further developing training opportunities within the organisation to ensure that initial dementia awareness training is built upon, ensuring all staff and volunteers have received any training necessary to enable them to work in a dementia friendly way. This may include training in: enhanced communication skills; risk assessment and management; creating dementia friendly environments.

    Status:
    Implementation

    2015 - Second Quarter Update

    Staff working in the community, most of them Village Agents active in local rural communities, attended a training day delivered by Dementia Adventure entitled 'Walk Leader Training. This covered barriers and solutions, walk leader skills and responsibilities, engaging people living with dementia, risk management and problem solving etc. Participants were asked at the end of the day to formulate a personal action plan, formulating short-term, medium-term and long-term objectives for putting their newly acquired skills into practice for the benefit of people living with dementia.

  • Enhance the accessibility and legibility of our premises to people living with dementia

    This aim of this action is to work towards enabling all our premises to meet the needs of people with dementia as fully as possible. This may include reviewing and updating signage to make it more dementia friendly, ensuring that mobility needs are met to make premises more easily physically accessible and enhancing lighting to oprimise the environmental legibility of our premises.

    Status:
    Initial Scoping
  • Ensure that all our channels of communication are designed to enable people with dementia to easily access the information they need

    Included in this action would be a review of all channels of communication we use, including written information, telephone calls, electronic media (including e.g. website, Twitter and eHub) to ensure that people with dementia are given optimal opportunities to access information and advice. This might include: providing printed versions of website articles; directing people living with dementia to information and advice staff for assistance with interpreting complex information; following up telephone calls to repeat information given if necessary.

    Status:
    Investigating