Case Study from Solihull: Success for Dementia Diagnosis and Funding

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With our Partners, the Experts by Experience and Faith Groups we have:

o Reached our target of 4,500 Dementia Friends by 31 March 2015.

o Now 17 member Solihull Dementia Action Alliance organisations.

o The dementia diagnosis rate for Solihull now stands at 68.3 % which is just above the National Target of 67%

 

DEEP Grant awarded to improve outcomes of people living with dementia

In January 2016 our directorate secured a grant of £3.5K to help us implement changes to improve the lives of people “living with dementia”.  This was a real chance for us to work in co-production with our Experts by Experience, to ensure that people living with dementia are more closely involved and have more of a say – currently it is mainly carers of people with dementia who initiate change. We have been looking more closely at:

 

  • Co-designing new methods of engagement and activities for people with dementia
  • Implementing incremental changes on an on-going basis
  • Engaging with other groups, to educate, generate understanding and improve local practice in working with people with dementia.
  • Reaching out to people with dementia in Solihull who might be additionally isolated due to other factors, such as poverty, disability or ethnicity.
  • Review and report on local service environments (signage, building design etc)
  • Help us eradicate the “stigma” of dementia.

 

The Faiths Forum

As part of DEEP Funding and Making it Real we worked with our Experts by Experience to reach out to people from different faiths and cultures. This work led to Solihull’s Faith Forum inviting two Experts: a person living with dementia and a former carer to deliver a keynote speech at the Forum’s AGM – reaching over 60 people from different faiths and cultural backgrounds.

The Experts used this opportunity to consider how faith groups might help their communities and support members of their communities to become dementia friends. Peter, an Expert living with dementia talked about himself, how long he has been living with dementia, the benefits of using our commissioned services and his hopes for the future, including potential outcomes of the meeting.  Our overall aim was to ensure that the Faiths would take action within their communities to improve the knowledge around dementia and to reach out to people who might be isolated.

Outcomes:

  • A number of dementia sessions were held: with local churches and with other agencies who were present at the AGM, such as the police.
  • Regular Dementia Cafes have been set within local churches (details included below).
  • One local vicar, Mark Fisher has undertaken a course on dementia and has now taken a sabbatical from Christ Church, Solihull, to explore connections between dementia and faith and he has visited a number of churches and universities to discuss this subject.

 

Other DEEP funding outcomes

  • Solihull Council has offered small grants , through our local VSC network, to any faith establishment who would be willing to hold an event to try and promote positive awareness of living with dementia.
  • Three Trees community group are support to deliver Act on Dementia, a support group for people and families affected by dementia.
  • Kingshurst Art Space for a carers drop-in centre are partnering Act on Dementia
  • Gro–Organic Community Interest Group will build in elements of their community garden to support awareness about dementia. They will also work with the Family Care Trust who provide daytime support for people living with dementia. They will now be able to run a sensory / therapeutic afternoon with their patients with the funding and purchase a range of sensory plants. They can support 2 therapists to work with 10 clients through sensory planting, which will be transplanted into the Chapel House garden.
  • “Moments”: A brand new Café concept for carers and people living with dementia developed by Revd. Mark Fisher. “Moments” is run by parishioners in Christ Church in Solihull. It offers a unique relaxed and informal support for people living with dementia. It includes light refreshments and a variety of opportunities each week: advice and pointers to support services, the chance to talk to others and share, singing and music, memory books and speakers on helpful topics.
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