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CARERS CHOICES,

To support unpaid Carers in the community by offering a package of respite options, offering real choices in the time, place and delivery of Care to their loved ones and respite for themselves. These options include a sitting service, day centre facilities for adults with disabilities and specialist day centres for those living with Younger Onset Dementia and those who are elderly and living with Dementia. These centres are activity led facilities staffed by fully trained staff who provide cognitive stimulation, reminiscence therapy, gentle exercise, personal care plus a full entertainment programme. Transport is provided.

Updated:
31 July 2018
Location:
East of England
Local Alliances:
Southend, Castle Point and Rochford District 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 focus on providing information on a flexible range of solutions for Care, empowering clients and Carers to decide how, what, when and where their respite and care is to be delivered. We work with our clients, to deliver an individual package suitable for their unique situation.  Our services are designed to avoid Carers reaching crisis point and address the needs of isolated individuals, focusing on those living with Dementia.  We offer gold standard respite care in the home and specialist activity led day care facilities backed up with emotional support to provide real rest and ‘me time’ for the Carers and stimulation for the clients who’s needs are really understood by our highly trained staff. As a Charity providing care solutions since 1981 we feel we are best placed to provide a total and holistic package of care, especially in the Dementia field. We feel working with other services we will achieve better outcomes for Carers and those with Dementia in our community.  Working to access early diagnosis means to us that we will have a better chance of making a real improvement in life experience for those with Dementia, prolonging independent living and improving relationships

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

Our challenges include tackling the lack of coordinated Dementia support services making referrals to us. Their poor internal communication and varying degrees of understanding the disease. The difficulty and delays incurred by Carers accessing financial support, advice on how Dementia affects relationships, the importance of Carers looking after their own health by accessing respite services, how good quality cognitive activities etc can together help maintain independence and postpone their loved ones entering full time residential care.  The lack of education about Dementia within the general public. GP’s need to provide earlier diagnosis, being specific about which form of Dementia they have. Carers report frustrations about having to deal with different people and repeat case information.  We would like to see one person join the diagnosed and the Carers on their pathway to finding a way to leading a good quality life after diagnosis.

 

Member website

www.carerschoices.org

2. Actions

  • We continue to seek funding to host further Dementia information awareness campaigns in Essex for the general public and for professionals

    We actively seek funding through an ongoing program of applying to grant makers to cover the cost of supplying staff and providing literature to host information sessions, attend clubs and events to provide support information packs and contact details to community groups, professionals, the general public and unpaid Carers of those living with Dementia.  Working with local councils, utilising facilities in sheltered housing projects, free premises such as libraries, attending functions, seminars and networking with frontline services seeking to expel the myth that surrounds a diagnosis of Dementia and educating people about what they can do to enjoy the very best that their life can offer.  We believe that by bringing together all the different stakeholders and frontline services we will improve the lives of those diagnosed as well as that of their Carers.  We believe that we can together bring about a Southend and Essex public who are able to recognise someone who is living with Dementia and be understanding and sympathetic to their needs. We have seen some success on this and have been able to purchase further folders and order printing of 'free taster session' and information leaflets.  These were handed out mainly during Dementia Awareness Week in June.

    Status:
    Being implemented

    2018 - Second Quarter Update

    tba

    2018 - First Quarter Update

    Awareness sessions have been held at Social Care team meetings, public events, carer events and during Carers Week and Dementia Awareness Week - both in June. 

  • Expanding our elderly & Dementia day care centres across Essex

    Having set up three elderly and dementia day care specialist centres since 2014, we are seeking premises in other areas of Essex to replicate our Silver Birch Centres.Focussing on need, numbers and existing facilities, we have identified two main areas for development of Dementia Day Care services. We are currently looking at potential sites for the second centre in Southend; We focus on areas of high need for good quality day care centres which are specialist Dementia activity centres. We are gathering data from the public, Carers groups and front line services such as GP's, Memory Clinics, Age UK Essex, the Alzheimer's Society etc to guide us to the precise location which best suits the need as well as accessibility, we will then go about equipping, staffing and opening a replica of the successful model we already have in operation from funds raised and the utilisation of local volunteer groups. To date, we have one site which is encouraging but realistically because of it being part of a much larger community project will not be ready until 2019/2020.  We continue to search.........................

    Status:

    2018 - First Quarter Update

    In April we have doubled the size of our Benfleet Silver Birch dementia day care centre which is open to clients 5 days per week and we have no geographicl boundaries.  This centre is able to facilitate up to 24 clients per day.  We supported Dementia Awareness Week in June, manning a stand in Southend, holding an afternoon Tea for Carers and clients, inviting children into the centre for some inter-generational activities etc.  We had a reminiscence session hosted by a professional entertainer in the day centre.  We have attended Adult Social Care team meetings to raise awareness this quarter - social worker teams experienced major staffing changes and it is therefore even more important to keept the social workers up to date on what dementia facilities there are locally. 

  • We will support Carers of those with Dementia by encouraging self-help Carer Groups to be formed

    We will facilitate the Carers of those who attend our centres to form Carer Support Groups and support each other. Nobody understands the plight of a Carer better than another Carer; This is even more so when caring for someone living with Dementia; We will encourage Carers to meet and support each other, share stories, worries and advice on coping. Alternatively they may just enjoy relaxing and chatting about anything other than Caring, safe in the knowledge that they have just left their loved ones in a safe and stimulating day centre where their needs are being expertly looked after. We believe that these groups are vital and encourage community cohesion and help with reducing the isolation that the Carers experience. We also encourage past carers to find rewarding volunteering roles within the centres. We find that the unpaid carer who's caring role has come to an end, feels that they no longer have a role or purpose in life. This is not true, they have so much to give. It fills their day and gives them a sense of acheivement and fulfilment when they have helped other people. There is life after caring, as there is after diagnosis. We are now part of 4SX which supports carers to seek employment where appropriate and how to find care for their loved one whilst they do this.  We also offer free I.T. training for Carers in our community cafe where they can access free WiFi and this is where the carers group meet every first Thursday in the week.

    Status:
    Being implemented

    2018 - First Quarter Update

    New member

  • Respite in the home

    We are currently recruiting trained carers in the Southend district to enable us to deliver a sustainable sitting service to those living with Dementia in Southend, this is in addition to the service already being provided by Carers Choices in Castle Point & Rochford area.  We will be providing this service, bookable by the hour and the same support worker/carer will be attending, on time, for the full amount of time.  The only exception to this is staff sickness or annual leave.  We believe in building a relationship with our clients and their families and working with them to provide solutions to our client's care needs.  We believe that supporting unpaid carers with this service for their loved ones will help to alleviate stress and isolation, reducing the number of carers who reach crisis point.  This in effect will also impact on unplanned hospitalisations for carer and those living with Dementia will be able to remain in their own homes for longer. We are CQC registered with a Good rating for 2018. 

    Status:
    Being implemented