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Dementia Care Advisors, looking back on 2020

The dementia care advisors team (DCA) are a specialist advice and information service supporting people with dementia and their families and carers, in the Windsor and Maidenhead area. We work closely with professionals from social and health services as well as local volunteer services. The DCA team was reshaped and expanded last year and has continued to go from strength to strength.

DCA’s provide support, advice, information, education, therapy and work actively to help people live well with dementia. We can help people link to local professional and volunteer services to support them on their dementia journey. We have also provided dementia training and awareness in the community, including a very well attended session at Norden Farm arts centre earlier this year.

Last year we successfully launched the popular monthly dementia drop in sessions –one in Maidenhead and one is Windsor. These were open to anyone and various professionals and volunteers joined the DCA team in providing teaching, answering questions and joining discussions with those who attended.

We visit people at home and discuss individual needs and issues. Whilst continuing to support them ourselves we also connect people to other services that may benefit them on their dementia journey, and give advice on filling out forms and finding the right help. The DCA team has become a well known and respected part of the local dementia community, with our reputation quickly spreading by word of mouth thanks to those who had benefitted from our input.

We were planning this year to create specific small groups for younger people with dementia and their carers and were working with the Asian community locally to increase awareness and provide groups for them. However these two projects have been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, so the launch will be delayed until it is safe to meet together.

The Lockdown in March and subsequent changes due to Covid-19, have changed our practice and we are providing more phone support than previously. We were able to create an advice and ideas pack which was delivered to our customers and is also available online on the Optalis website. Between the two lockdown’s we were able to start visiting again in individual’s homes or gardens with PPE and social distancing in place.

We had two additional staff seconded to us from day services in late Spring, this has enabled us to deliver one to one individualised therapy at home for people. This initiative has been a huge success and customers and carers feedback has been good. During the second lockdown we have again been providing phone support and monitoring, and the therapy teamhave created an activity pack which is being delivered to our customers.

As we adapt to changing times, we look forward to the launch in January 2021 of the monthly ‘dementia drop-in’ starting on Zoom, which will hopefully be well received. We will also be providing a variety of regular therapy and activity sessions on Zoom.

Tier’s permitting, we will start visiting again face to face and as soon as it is safe we will run group sessions. In the meantime, the DCA team continues to support those with dementia and their loved ones and are always willing to talk and listen to anyone at any stage of the dementia journey.

Written by Belinda Dixon - Senior Dementia Care Advisor

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Disability history

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