#DementiaActionWeek puts pressure on the government to take action to reform the care system.
As part of #DementiaActionWeek the Alzheimer’s Society has written to the government and raised a petition calling on them to cure the care system.
Nearly a million UK families are struggling to care for their loved ones with the dignity and support they deserve. While dementia isn’t curable yet, the care system is. The petition calls on the government to:
You can find out more about and sign the petition here.
When it comes to caring for people with dementia, a supportive and person-centred approach is vital. Going down the route of getting help with dementia care can be scary and filled with uncertainty. That’s why we should strive to provide everything we’d look for ourselves if we were looking for help with dementia support.
Getting dementia care ‘right’ is important on so many different levels. Caring with dignity and respect allows the person living with dementia to retain as much of who they are as possible, and removes much of the fear for both the individual and their family.
The Alzheimer’s Society provides wonderful support and advice on Dementia and do an incredible job raising awareness and money across the UK. You can find 5 simple things about Dementia here as well as all sorts of useful resources on their website.
Providing support for people and families whose lives are impacted by dementia is a huge part of what we do at Connect. In particular, we provide specialised housing support for people living with dementia or people who are cognitively impaired as a result of a brain injury or degenerative medical condition. As part of Engage Leeds, we work in partnership with GIPSIL, Barca and Riverside.
We’ve had some overwhelmingly positive feedback on our Engage service and are continuing to work hard on improving the delivery of it each year. Here is an example of how our amazing Engage team are making a positive impact on people’s lives:
Our Engage Leeds team has been working with a customer in their late 80s described as ‘strong minded, fiercely independent,positive and always smiling, kind and willing to help others’. She was living in a home she owned that was uninhabitable, needing extensive repairs with no electricity or heating, her long term hoarding including food waste that was causing rat infestation.
Leeds Adult Social Services had attempted to move her into alternative accommodation but this was not successful, partly because the customer felt fine as they were and didn’t imagine life could be better or safer. Leeds Environmental Services were threatening legal action because of the condition of her house.
With support she did agree that she needed to move to a safe and warm home, and to prepare for this by sorting out the personal and sentimental items from her house that she wanted to keep. We supported her to repay £8000 of debts, and encouraged her not to carry large sums of money on her person.
She has now moved into an extra care flat where she says she is much happier and warmer. She says she now realises how difficult her life was and how dangerous her living conditions were. Her property is sold and we’ve ensured no further action or costs from Leeds City Council. We’ve worked with her and Adult Social Care to ensure a support package in her new home – including a regular cleaner – to help her to maintain her wellbeing, safety and independence as she approaches her 90th birthday.
This is a powerful example of how social housing can provide vital support for people living with dementia. The place where someone lives is part of their identity and helping them preserve their independence, health and wellbeing for longer and can go a long way to helping them and the people around them feeling more comfortable to ‘live well’ with dementia.
You can find out more about the Engage Leeds dementia service here.
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