A newly launched service for people living with dementia has been hailed as providing “invaluable support” to care homes during lockdown.
Dementia Support UK: Connect, Consult was launched last month in response to COVID-19.
Funded by Innovate UK, and provided by HammondCare, the free service provides immediate support with a 24/7 online enquiry and referral system for relatives, carers and health professionals. It offers an opportunity to access extra support and expert guidance to help carers cope with behaviours and symptoms which worsened during the pandemic.
The service is tailored to each care home provider and level of behaviour. Enquiries are encouraged and nothing is considered too trivial.
Executive Director of the National Care Forum, Vic Rayner, said: “While many care homes have specialist staff, they are taking the opportunity to have a detailed peer-to-peer discussion and examine new approaches to support their residents. The consultants on the end of the phone from Dementia Support UK are working with care home teams to provide personal and tailored, non-pharmacological support telephone consultations and follow up video conferencing.”
Ed Russell, Deputy Chief Executive, WCS Care, a specialist care provider, added: “Having additional guidance and support available at the end of the phone through Dementia Support UK – which complements the tools we already provide carers to support residents – gives our teams valuable acknowledgement of the work they’re already doing, while providing useful insight and new approaches to try. Our teams have warmly welcomed this virtual pair of helping hands and feedback so far has been unanimously positive.”
Staff from care homes, relatives, GPs and other social and health care professionals who are working with a resident living with dementia and would like to access further help and support can access Dementia Support UK: Connect, Consult by making an enquiry online 24/7 at https://dementiasupportuk.org/