Carers in Southampton
Carers in Southampton is a service for anyone who gives up their time, unpaid, to look after a family member, friend, or neighbour who needs additional support. Mission: “To empower the ‘Silent Army’ of carers in Southampton by providing support, advice, guidance and learning opportunities to improve carers’ choice, control and independence.” We receive more referrals for carers of people with dementia than any other group. We aim to: • Bring together strong support for carers through a network of existing services and agencies • Provide a free service which is flexible, respectful, and offer confidential advice, guidance and direction • Identify the needs of carers living in Southampton • Identify ‘hidden’ carers who do not currently use services for themselves or the person they care for • Help carers to look after their own health and wellbeing first which encourages them to have a life of their own alongside their caring role.
- 11 July 2017
- South East
- Local Alliances:
- Dementia Friendly Southampton (Southampton DAA)
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?
Our experience from the carer’s perspective is that fear, at the point of dementia being diagnosed, about what is ahead is a greater issue than other carers face and they are worried how they will manage. For many people, it is the first time they have needed help from outside organisations, and they find this both distressing and confusing.
Our role is to ensure that they have the support that helps them live their life and have the knowledge and know-how to get what they need. We keep the service under regular review to ensure these needs are being met and seek to introduce new and innovative methods of connecting with carers and working with them to come to terms with the future.
2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?
Many carers are unable to leave the person they care for due to reasons ranging from the distress caused to a lack of affordable respite available. This impacts on their ability to come to events and sessions on their own and receive advice, information and support in a setting where they can focus on their needs to enable them to continue with their caring role.
Community outreach work
Working in partnership with Admiral Nurses Working in partnership with Portswood Dementia Friendly Action Group Attending community events in the city to connect with carers and promote the work of the service Working with partners to create and deliver community events to raised awareness of Dementia Friendly Communities and connect generations
Carers, Dance & Dementia
To seek funding to Pilot ‘Carers, Dance & Dementia’, dance sessions targeting adult unpaid carers, caring for someone living with dementia.
Dancing is an activity that requires physical movement, co-ordination and timing, which when choreographed correctly can be beneficial to people with dementia. It is also something which can be undertaken jointly carer and cared for.
The sessions will offer a social environment that’s non-judgemental, supportive and currently not available within Southampton. This approach removes the greatest barrier carers face, finding appropriate replacement care, meaning they can attend, enjoy time with their cared for, meet new people whilst improving their own health and well-being.
People caring for someone with dementia is growing faster within our service than any other condition, these carers also begin to experience other issues themselves such as social isolation, depression and the loss of their identity. These sessions will be enjoyable, invaluable to the dyad relationship and beneficial to their health and well-being.
Quality advice in a range of formats
Information Officers – Training and access to solutions database to deal with complex enquiries
Website – Dedicated dementia section
Newsletter – Bi-monthly containing information on services and sessions in the city and other news of interest
Resource room – Access to information, PC, internet and telephone
Ensure all staff are Dementia Friends
Carers in Southampton has 10 members of staff.
Six are Dementia Champions. One is a Dementia Friend.
We commit to all staff being Dementia Friends by the end of June 2017.