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Southwark Carers

Southwark Carers offers a range of support services, activities and training for family and unpaid carers who live, work or care for someone who lives in the borough. Our services include, but are not limited to one-one carer support & information - specific support around health & well-being; specialist support for carers of people with dementia, mental health problems, stroke & learning disabilities; hospital discharge service; counselling; support groups; training & activities.

28 July 2016
Care, Social Care, Voluntary Sector
Local Alliances:
Southwark 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?

1. We work in partnership with carers, in finding ways to meet their needs. We continually consult with carers in developing services to meet their changing needs.

2. We monitor service delivery and have processes for carers to feed back on the services and activities which we offer and we respond to the feedback we receive to ensure that the services continue to meet their needs

3. We work with carers to develop a support plan or strategy - which enables them to live a life which is a close approximation of how they lived their lives before the caring role and to continue doing the things they enjoy, whilst dealing with challenges and difficulties as they arise and identifying contingency plans for those eventualities.

4. We offer clear, accessible information for carers on what is available, what to expect when caring for someone with dementia and how to take care of yourself as a carer. We also link people to locally available facilities and services - for support, leisure activities, dementia-specific activities, etc.

5. Carers and people with dementia are encouraged through training, activities and information sessions to maintain links to wider family, community, etc, both together and separately.

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

Working in partnership with other organisations in the borough who are working together on the Southwark Dementia Action Alliance and avoiding duplication, or conflict of interest.

Time for staff members to dedicate outside their normal routine workload to focus on these outcomes and the work of the Southwark Dementia Action Alliance. Ensuring that good ideas and intentions result in practical action towards achieving these outcomes.

Other challenges include the funding arrangements decided by Southwark Council, whereby short term one year funding does not allow organisations to develop projects or plan long term.

2. Actions

  • To improve the everyday experience for carers of people affected by dementia in all aspects of daily life

    Southwark Carers aim to include carers in all aspects of their care and support;

    Offering good quality appropriate activities and experiences for carers;

    Giving a voice to  carers through participation in a number of Steering Groups and Boards and wider membership of the Southwark Dementia Action Alliance;

    Raising awareness with other organisations, locally, around the needs of people caring for someone living with dementia.

  • To increase awareness of the needs of people living with dementia in all areas of life.

    Ensuring all staff undertake Dementia Friends training and promote the sessions to partnership organisations and carers.

    Improving communication with staff and partner organisations around becoming dementia friendly.

    Improving use of language when referring to people with dementia, i.e. avoiding the use of terms like "dementia sufferer". 

  • Closer working with our local Alzheimer’s Society

    We aim to attend the local Alzheimer’s Society cafes to provide support to their service, the Carers and people with dementia who attend. This will enable Carers to access our services as well as the services provided by the local Alzheimer’s society.

  • Decrease carer breakdown by promoting support at point of crisis and as early as possible in the carer journey

    1) Reach out to GPs by promoting support available to carers and our services, through professional awareness raising sessions / Carers Health Development workers.

    2) Work with SLaM to make carer referrals as early as possible in the carer journey and as soon as possible after diagnosis

    3) Continue to develop and work alongside Southwark Health and Social Care's Carers Assessment Team ensure carers at highest risk of family/relationship breakdown as a consequence of the symptoms of dementia are referred to respite services for support

    4) Work in partnership with other organisations e.g Alzheimers Society to maximise support available to the person with dementia as well as the family members and/or carer.