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Relate Bedfordshire and Luton

Relate is the UK's largest provider of relationship support, and every year we help over a million people of all ages, backgrounds and sexual orientations to strengthen their relationships. Relate Bedfordshire and Luton is an independent charity and a member of the National Relate Federation. We have over 60 year’s experience of delivering services to the local community. We have launched a new project across Bedfordshire to provide free relationship and family counselling to carers of people living with dementia.

14 March 2017
East of England
Charity, Children Young People and Students, Community organisations, Health, Local DAA Members, Voluntary Sector
Local Alliances:
Luton 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?

Relate Bedfordshire and Luton’s dementia service provides relationship support to carers and their families of people living with dementia across Bedfordshire.

Statistics provided in early 2016 by Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire Council indicate that an estimated 5,000 people with dementia are living in Bedfordshire. More than three-quarters of people with dementia live in the community and many of these live in rural areas. 

It is estimated that there are 478 people under 65 with dementia. These people have specific needs: many will have concerns about the impact on their children, jobs and finances. 

The service for people living in Bedford and Central Bedfordshire will help the partners and families of people living with dementia understand and adapt to the changes in their relationship that the diagnosis of dementia can bring. 

These issues might include struggling to accept the diagnosis, adjusting to the change, and/or maintaining intimacy and affection. For those who have been caring for some time and where dementia is advanced, there are likely to be issues of exhaustion, neglect of one’s own wellbeing and isolation from social networks. The interventions will focus on building resilience to cope and adapt to the new relationship situation and help people make the most of their existing resources.

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

The main challenge for Relate Bedfordshire and Luton is to raise awareness of the new dementia service and to establish new partnerships across Bedfordshire with organisations that can inform and refer carers and families of people living with dementia to our free relationship and family counselling service. 

We are already working hard to market the service and establish these partnerships and we see that being part of the Action Alliance will help us to interact with a wider network to promote this free support service to those who can benefit from it.

2. Actions

  • Dementia awareness training

    A bespoke one day training course has been designed and delivered to counsellors delivering the service and staff supporting the dementia service. Other staff from the organisation will attend an awareness training session on dementia.

    Being implemented
  • Raising awareness of new dementia service.

    Design, print and distribute service flyer;

    Details on how to access this service can be found here: How to access the service

    Design and distribute mail shot/newsletter article to existing partners;

    Draft and issue local press release;

    Establish new partnerships with appropriate organisations.

    Being implemented
  • Relationship and family counselling

    Deliver relationship and family counselling sessions for carers and families of people living with dementia across Bedfordshire and look for a way to make this funded pilot sustainable.