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Devon Carers

Devon Carers is a consortium led by Westbank in Exminster that represents and supports unpaid carers of all ages and backgrounds across Devon. We undertake carers’ assessments and work in partnership with them to plan support.

14 May 2020
South West
Voluntary Sector
Local Alliances:
Exeter Dementia Action Alliance (EDAA), Devon Dementia Partnership

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. Devon Carers supports the wellbeing of unpaid carers of people living with dementia. This includes consideration of the needs and wishes of the person with dementia.

2. Devon Carers has several Dementia Champions across Devon and runs Dementia Friends sessions for staff and other partner organisations. In particular we will continue to run Dementia Friends sessions when we have new staff.

Develop the range of training opportunities for staff to learn about aspects of dementia and carer support appropriate to their role and needs of carers.

Ensure training is underpinned by the latest thinking in good practice and is evidence based.

Ensure staff have opportunities to ask for training and have it delivered in a timely way and in a way that gives practical support alongside the underpinning theory/evidence.


3. Devon Carers has a website with information that supports the partnership of family carer and the person they are caring for. In particular we will:

Invite staff from other organisations to attend our Dementia Friends sessions.

Meet with local organisations such as Alzheimer’s Society and Age UK to ensure we work in partnership and meet the needs of people living with dementia and their carers.

Be visible to the public as a service which works with other organisations and services.

4. Devon Carers has a designated Lead Practitioner for carers of people living with dementia and older people’s mental health.

5. Devon Carers runs regular training and support sessions for carers of people living with dementia to improve their resilience. In particular we will:

Undertake carer assessments on behalf of Devon County Council

Continue to designate a Lead Practitioner for carers of people living with dementia

Update and develop information on the Devon Carers website to support and maintain the relationship between the person living with dementia and their carer

Develop and deliver a range of training for carer of people living with dementia that meets their specific needs in terms of content, delivery method and geographical placement.

Ensure our staff are aware of the local support available for  people living with dementia and their carers and pass relevant information to carers in a way that they are able to make use of it.

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

1. Carers sometimes feel guilty and disloyal talking about their family member, yet knowing that they could not say these things when the person is there. Our challenge is to enable carers to feel safe, comfortable and supported.

2. In terms of training staff and carers – people are not always able to say what it is they need to know. Our challenge is to ask good questions to enable people to think about what would be most helpful for them to know and be able to do.

3. Carers are often tired or cannot leave the person they are caring for. Enabling them to access support is a challenge.

Member website


2. Actions

  • Dementia Awareness to be a standard part of Induction for all new staff

    On-line or face to face Dementia Friends sessions are now a standard part of Devon Carers Induction training. Working to ensure that all new staff across the Westbank organisation receive the Dementia Friends Induction.

    Being implemented

    2020 - First Quarter Update

    Devon Carers has added the option of on-line or face to face sessions to the Staff dementia training list. Depending on when the staff start, the online version might be the most timely supplemented by a meeting with the Lead Practitioner for carers of people living with dementia and older people's mental health to understanbd why this training is necessary in their role and further training and support available to them.

    Dementia Friends face to face session continue to be organised to be part of team meetings or team days.

  • Resilience for Carers of people living with dementia

    Offer resilience workshops to carers of people living with dementia across Devon as a response to identified need.

    Being implemented

    2020 - First Quarter Update

    One hour Resilience sessions have been delivered by the Lead Practitioner and Peer Support Officer to 4 carers groups in East Devon. More will be deleivered once carers groups can be resumed. Feedback from carers at the groups has been mainly positive. Most carers say they have an understanding of what resileince means in terms of their caring role and can give examples of what they currently do to support their resilience. We have had feedback from most groups on how carers have thought about developing their resilience and have taken action, alone or with other carers using regular exercise, pets, making time for their own interests; better hydration habits.

  • Opportunities for people living wth dementia and their families to maintain relationships

    Provde opportunities to enable carers to talk about the changes in their relationships..

    Devon Carers feels that changes in relationships are integral to all long term conditions and has commissioned short sessions for all carers on Resilient Relationships. These will become a standard in Devon Carers training offer. The Lead Practitioner offers 1:1 discussion with carers of people living with a dementia on how the changes to the person's behaviour and needs will impact on the realtionship. This involves discussion on what chnages have been noticed, how they ompact on the realtionship currently, how the carer has managed this so far. lead Practitioner can add advice on why the changes might be impacting on the relationship ( damage to the brain; perception and realtih of the person; how current environment and support may not be meeting needs) and agree with carer action that could be taken. This conversation is usually alongside discussion on carer breaks, making time for own interests, and self compassion.
    Being implemented