Dementia carers active support report

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Summary of report content

This successful project, working with carers of dementia and their dependents came to an end in February 2018. Healthwatch Redbridge set out to work with carers of someone with dementia not accessing many social opportunities or support services and at high risk of mental and physical ill health owing to the stress and isolation associated with full time caring. Healthwatch Redbridge were also acutely aware, through our experience of working with this particular group of carers, of the many barriers they face in engaging their communities. Healthwatch Redbridge also set out to capture feedback from carers of dementia to inform how we develop support for them in future and to give them a stronger voice with decision makers throughout the difficult Health and Social Care Transformation programme and in the current climate of austerity. In summary, 35 carers and 6 volunteers participated. Carers reported feeling more included, better supported and more informed about local services. They said their health and wellbeing had improved and they felt less mentally exhausted and depressed. They also said the groups were a rare opportunity for them to do something fun with their loved ones and reconnect as spouses or family members during a singing or dancing activity. They also said that it was vital to have a dedicated group where they could receive key information about local services and changes and that otherwise they may not have known about the changes to health and social care e.g. remodelling of day services etc. Carers were also encouraged to consider their own health needs and unequivocally, all participants wanted to learn more about techniques to improve their own health e.g. diet, exercise and relaxation. Overall, the project has given Healthwatch Redbridge an opportunity to engage with one of our hardest to reach groups. Healthwatch Redbridge have learned much about the barriers they face and how we can help them to overcome these and be more active in their communities. Healthwatch Redbridge also witnessed the developing friendships and enduring bonds within the group that will help to minimise the risk of acute isolation. Healthwatch Redbridge are currently seeking funding from Carers Trust for another social trip to Redbridge Drama Centre as the group have said that they would like to do this on a regular basis as well as continue to meet as a peer support group. Healthwatch Redbridge have also been successful in achieving 20 weeks of Fit for Fun funding to run a Dementia Movement and Dance Group at the IRDSA hall every Tuesday for 20 weeks running until September 2018. The activity is aimed at carers and carees of dementia, using similar methodology described above and the findings of the Community Cash Fund project to evidence the need and the benefits of this type of joint activity. There is no doubt that the impact of the Dementia Carers Active Support project has been significant and its legacy i.e. the new Fit for Fun project will continue. RCSS are grateful to the Community Cash Fund and Healthwatch for the opportunity to make such a difference to the lives of this particular group of carers.

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General details

Report title 
Dementia carers active support report
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Redbridge
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 28 February, 2018
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 28 February, 2018
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 28 February, 2018
Type of report 
Report
Key themes 
Building and facilities
Communication between staff and patients
Staff levels
Support
Healthwatch reference number 
Rep-7213

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
What type of organisation requested the work 
N/A
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
RCSS
Primary research method used 
Survey
How was the information collected? 
Survey
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 
N/A

Details of health and care services included in the report

Social care services 
Adult social care

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
41
Age group 
Not known
Gender 
Not known
Ethnicity 
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Yes
Does the information include staff's views? 
No
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
N/A
Does the information include other people's views? 
No
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Mixed

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Yes
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
No
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Yes
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
No
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
 
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
 
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.