The Coventry and Warwickshire Dementia Action Alliance

DAA logo2

My name is Ewa and I am the current co-chair of the Coventry and Warwickshire Dementia Action Alliance.

What is Coventry and Warwickshire Dementia Action Alliance?

Together with Lizzie Edwards from Coventry City Council and Jeevan Jones from Alzheimer’s Society we have formed the Alliance to make progress towards Coventry and Warwickshire being dementia friendly communities. Being dementia friendly means making people with dementia and their carers better supported and included in their community life so they can remain independent and do not feel isolated.

The aim of the Alliance is to draw together local organisations that are willing to actively work towards becoming dementia friendly. We use the Alliance to be a forum to share ideas, identify joint actions for the future, and encourage other partners to join us. So far, there are 15 organisations signed up to the Alliance, these include: Alzheimer’s Society Warwickshire, Age UK Coventry, Warwickshire Fire and Rescue, Coventry Carers Centre and Warwickshire Library Service.

We also have a person living with Alzheimer’s (a form of dementia) and their carer actively supporting the Alliance in all aspects of progress being made, such as by sharing their experiences when accessing the community to help us understand barriers they face and making changes based on these.

The inaugural meeting of the group was held on 14th January 2014. The meeting was well attended by representatives from most organisations signed up. Members were excited about having a chance to network with each other and find out more about progress being made around this initiative nationally and locally. At the meeting we discussed details of the local sign-up process. We spoke about dementia related training options available locally that can help improve any front line staff’s understanding of dementia so that they improve customer service skills.

We also discussed plans around promoting work of the Alliance during this year’s Dementia Awareness week (18-24 May) and jointly identified other key partners to be signed up. I felt members were very enthusiastic about suggestions made around joined up approach to creating Coventry and Warwickshire a dementia friendly region and are looking forward to encourage other partners’ sign up.

We have set up a Yammer Networking Group for the purpose of Alliance members to share project updates, contact details and resources. Yammer is a secure, online networking website, widely used by a range of different professionals. So far, members have actively posting on Yammer their suggestions and comments on various project developments.

We have also produced a short video clip to make people aware of Warwickshire’s initiative and how people can become involved, this features a local couple talking about their experiences of living with Alzheimer’s. Copies of this DVD can be obtained for free by any organisation or business signed up to the Alliance or viewed on the Dementia Friendly Communities page on the Living Well with Dementia Portal.

I am excited about future progress of the group and am already looking forward to our next meeting during this year’s Dementia Awareness Week on Wednesday 21st May. At that meeting we will learn details of how to create dementia friendly environments, agree long term performance targets for the group and discuss future roles and responsibilities of the group. I hope that within time this group will become fully self-sustaining and will be led jointly by all its members.

How to Become Dementia Friendly in Coventry and Warwickshire

Any community groups, organisations and businesses signing up to the Dementia Friendly Communities recognition process will be asked to complete an action plan to describe what they are working towards and outline their next steps to become dementia friendly. Once this action plan is submitted and approved by all Alliance members, we will link you into the Alliance for any help and support you might need to progress your actions.

We will then provide participating organisations with our local Resource Pack, which includes:

  • Environments Checklist
  • Living Well with Dementia Portal marketing info
  • List of learning resources freely available
  • ‘Working to become dementia friendly’ symbol (sticker) which we would like for the signed up organisations to be displaying in public areas to make others aware of their commitment
  • Dementia Friendly Warwickshire DVD

There will be regular reviews conducted with the Coventry and Warwickshire Dementia Action Alliance based on your action plan.
If you would like more details on how to sign up to become dementia friendly and/or if you wish to join the regional Dementia Action Alliance, you can email me on dementiapartnership@warwickshire.gov.uk and I will get back to you to see how best to help you.

You can also follow us on Twitter: @DementiaCandW

Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire (CSW) Sport – Exercise Referral Scheme

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

My Name’s Anneka and I am a Physical Activity Consultant for Nuneaton & Bedworth Leisure Trust, which is part of the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Sport initiative. I have had numerous individuals come through the exercise referral scheme at various stages of mental ill-health, ranging from learning difficulties, anxiety, depression, to mild forms of dementia.

When dealing with vulnerable individuals, I will arrange an appointment to see them in an area where they don’t feel intimidated and they feel safe and secure.  Individuals I have dealt with have expressed how they feel ‘a nuisance and out of place’ if they have to wonder around trying to find equipment in the gym. So, I set individual’s a circuit of 6 exercises for them to complete and introduce 2 new exercises at their 6 week and 12 week appointments so as not to bombard them with too much information from the start.

Some people choose to come along to our client classes to meet new friends and to have that added security of an instructor present.  This scheme has really benefitted individuals by helping break down barriers often associated with exercise, and to encourage them to take hold of their lives for the better. Most individuals have seen an improvement in their mood, they feel that they can accomplish more and don’t have to pre-plan every day.

Benefits of physical activity for people with dementia 

Leading a physically active lifestyle can have a significant impact on well-being. Exercise is beneficial for physical and mental health and can improve the quality of life for people in all stages of dementia.

The benefits include:

  • improving general cardiovascular health (relating to the heart and blood vessels) – it can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease;
  • reducing the risk of some types of cancer (in particular breast and colon cancer), stroke and type 2 diabetes;
  • improving physical function – maintaining muscle strength and joint flexibility can be a way of helping people maintain independence for longer;
  • helping to keep bones strong and reducing the risk of osteoporosis (a disease that affects the bones, making them weak and more likely to break);
  • improved cognition – recent studies have shown that exercise may improve memory and slow down mental decline;
  • improving sleep;
  • opportunities for social interaction and reducing the feeling of isolation;
  • reducing the risk of falls – physical activity can improve strength and balance, and help to counteract the fear of falling; and
  • enhanced confidence about the body and its capabilities – through improved body image and a sense of achievement.

Client Feedback

Mr M is a young adult who suffers from a mental health issue. He was referred through the exercise referral scheme to take part in exercise at the Pingles Gym.

Mr M was set a structure programme that he and his carer completed in the gym twice a week. He has since completed his 12 week scheme and has lost 4 kg of weight and reduced his BMI by 2.2%

Mr M stated ‘I am really keen to continue with exercise and I now have a positive outlook. I have really enjoyed the experience’

Mr M’s carer stated ‘I have seen a big change in his mood and would encourage others to take up this opportunity as it is so beneficial.’

For more information about the exercise on referral scheme visit the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Sport Site: http://www.cswsport.org.uk/exercisereferral

You can also follow CSW Sport on Twitter.

Getting Involved in Dementia Awareness Week 2013

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

Warwickshire County Council have pledged our commitment to become a Dementia Friendly Community by signing up to the National Dementia Declaration. Our vision is that people with dementia and their carers will regard Warwickshire as a place where people can live well with dementia.

We know that many of you will be touched by dementia and we are therefore asking for your help in achieving our ambitious programme. We are asking you to raise your own (or others’) awareness of dementia and to find out more about dementia to demonstrate your commitment to becoming dementia aware.

There are a range of things that you can do to get involved during dementia awareness week (19th – 25th May 2013) and beyond. Working towards becoming a dementia-friendly community will need all our on-going support, so what better time to start than now? Please help us by picking as many things that you think you can do to help:

1. Visit the Coventry and Warwickshire Living Well With Dementia Portal

Learn more about how people can live well with dementia and the local sources of support, services and information that are available to people:

Visit the Coventry and Warwickshire Dementia Portal 

And also follow the Partnership on Twitter: @DementiaCandW

2. Order and distribute resources that raise awareness of dementia

You can find out what resources we have available and order a supply. We are keen to hear from not just businesses but also from anyone who runs a community group or voluntary organisation and would like to hold a supply.

To order these materials, please contact: dementiapartnership@warwickshire.gov.uk or Telephone 01926 742299.

3. Books on Prescription – Dementia Texts

Visit your local Warwickshire Library and borrow one of the books on dementia, or signpost someone to the books. These books aim to enhance and enable people to live well with dementia, and are a great resource for increasing your awareness of dementia.

Further details are also available from the Books on Prescription Website

4. Warwickshire Exercise on Referral Scheme: Dementia

If you have, or know someone with, a diagnosis of early to mid-stage dementia, ask if they know about the Warwickshire Exercise Referral Scheme, and whether they would like to participate in an activity programme (mostly in local leisure centres). People will need to be referred to the scheme by their GP, Practice Nurse or another registered professional.

For further information please contact Penny Kirkham at Coventry Solihull and Warwickshire Sport: penny@cswsport.org.uk or Telephone: 02476 574889

For further details please go to the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Sport Website

5. Sign-up to become a Dementia Friend

The Alzheimer’s Society are working to create a network of a million Dementia Friends across England by 2015. Being a Dementia Friend gives you an understanding of the condition and the small things you can do that can make a difference to people living with dementia.

Further details are available from the Dementia Friends Website.

If we work together in Warwickshire, we can become both Dementia aware and friendly, with people with dementia and their carers regarding Warwickshire as a good place to live well with the conditions.

Thank you for your continued support from all of us at the Partnership 

Save the date: Dementia Conference, Tuesday 17th September

Tags

, , , , ,

We are very pleased to announce hosting a one day conference on the 17 of September to showcase work being done at a local level to support people to live well with dementia and to formally launch Warwickshire as a dementia friendly community. The aims of the conference are to raise awareness and understanding of the conditions and to showcase the various types of support available to empower people living with dementia in Warwickshire.

The event will be aimed at professionals, customers, carers, providers and the voluntary and independent sector the conference will provide an opportunity to hear about Warwickshire progress with the delivery of our local dementia strategy and to find out how the community can help support people with dementia to remain independent at home.

We also have a range of speakers planned for the event and have secured Professor Dawn Brooker from University of Worcester, who is a leading academic in the field of dementia care, to talk about the VIPS training around person centred care. We will also have people with dementia themselves at the event sharing their experiences about life before and after diagnosis.

Experience sessions during the day will include a taster of Exercise on Referral scheme for people with dementia, singing for the brain or a walk round the Dementia House. There will also be a range of stands around the venue containing information about the types of support people with dementia and their carer can access, e.g.  reminiscence therapy, and Books on Prescription.

Throughout the day, we will have interactive twitter communication asking people with dementia and their family members how services could be improved to ensure a better quality of life.

The event will conclude with all attendees’ pledging how they will contribute to improving lives of people with dementia in local communities.

The venue for this conference will be The Holiday Inn HotelBridgefoot, Stratford upon Avon, CV37 6RY.

Expressions of interest – Arts in Dementia

We are seeking expressions of interest from artists/organisations to showcase innovate projects and to deliver workshops as part of our Living Well with Dementia conference.

We recognise the value of arts and creativity to support people with dementia, and carers, to live well with dementia. We therefore want to reflect this within the conference and have opportunity for innovative projects to showcase their work to Commissioners in Warwickshire, via a market stall display and via the delivery of workshops on the day. There are no restriction on artform and can be participatory or as audience.

There is a limited budget which will be negotiated on an individual basis.

To apply, please express your interest by:

Submitting a short Artists Statement (no longer than two A4 typed sides) to ewaniepsuj@warwickshire.gov.uk  that describes your work, how it supports people with dementia to live well and what you can bring to the conference. A contact sheet with the main contacts details for your organisation and up to 6 images of work/projects can also be supplied.

Find out more on the Arts Council England website.

FREE accredited Dementia Care for VIPS training available for care homes staff

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Are You Achieving Quality in Dementia Care?

Are you a manger or senior worker within a residential care or nursing home that supports people with dementia?

Do you want to improve your knowledge of person centred dementia care?

Would you like to learn how to use evidenced-based, practical ways to support people with dementia to enable them to live well?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you will be interested to hear about a programme of training that Warwickshire County Council have invested in for care home staff.

We recognise the need to improve and sustain the quality of dementia care across the County. We are offering FREE accredited training modules for care and nursing home staff who work with people with dementia. These sessions will be delivered locally at training venues across Warwickshire by Professor Dawn Brooker’s team from the Association of Dementia Studies Worcester University.

There are two different courses, which are all are underpinned by the concept of VIPS, a framework that helps translate the values of person centred care in practice and stands for:

V = Values people - Values and promotes the rights of the person

I = Individual’s needs - Provides individualised care according to needs

P = Perspective of service user - Understands care from the perspective of the person with dementia

S = Supportive social psychology - Social environment enables the person to remain in relationship

Dementia Leadership Course

Leading person centred services for people living with dementia.

A 4 day course, delivered in 2 blocks of 2 days of face-to-face workshops and a work-based assignment. This Course is aimed at care home managers who want to develop their dementia specific leadership skills and who deserve recognition in this challenging area of work.

Course Content

  • Develop an understanding of person centred care and the application of the VIPS framework
  • Developing a person centred workforce
  • Person centred care management
  • Risk, safety and empowerment
  • Working with families & volunteers working with organisations and communities
  • Assuring the quality of person centred care

Find out more about this course here: Dementia Leadership Training

Dementia Specialist Course

Specialist practice in dementia (person centred care)

A 6 day course delivered face-to-face and work-based assignments over a 3 month period, in 2-day blocks. This course is aimed at people who work directly with people with dementia and have responsibility for the development and delivery of their care plans on a day-to-day basis, such as Activity Coordinators, Specialist Nurses, and Senior Care Officers.

Course Content

  • Undertaking individualised person centred assessments, utilising cognitive capacity, strengths and needs, taking into account physical health needs in the context of dementia, maximising freedom & choice.
  • Developing care plans based on the enriched model of dementia care
  • Working with families to learn more about relationships, activity, occupation and fun, creating life-story and getting to know the person with dementia
  • Helping people who have extreme distress and complex needs, assessing and managing risk and safeguarding vulnerable adults
  • Developing supportive and interesting environments and Telecare
  • End of life care

Find out more about this course here: Dementia Specialist Training

Don’t delay, book your place now!

Remember, these two unique and useful training courses are being provided totally free of charge, so we are expecting a high level of interest and advise booking a place early to avoid any disappointment.

This opportunity is being offered to support providers to achieve common standards in line with the recent contractual changes and fee increases. These changes stipulate that 1% of your fee rate is now specifically linked to performance in-line with these standards.

You can apply for a place via Warwickshire County Council’s Learning and Development Service or get more information by contacting David Williams  Telephone: 01926 746950

Businesses of Warwickshire: becoming dementia friendly

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , ,

As you will know from our last post, Warwickshire County Council and key partners are committed to Warwickshire becoming a dementia friendly community. You can read more about that here: Warwickshire Committed to becoming a dementia friendly community.

We are thinking more about how we make Warwickshire dementia friendly and that means including as many organisations, businesses, groups and individuals from across the county as possible, which brings us on to today’s post.

We have a range of dementia awareness materials such as leaflets, bookmarks and wrist bands which we have already distributed to a wide variety of local authority and health locations such as libraries, GP surgeries and pharmacies. The feedback that we have received on these materials has been really positive and we are now we are hoping to see them distributed widely across the county to help promote the living well with dementia message.

How can you help?

Do you own or run a business or organisation in Warwickshire that is regularly visited by members of the public? Would you be interested in having a selection of our dementia awareness materials in your reception areas and other public areas?

Please don’t think we are only interested in seeing our materials in businesses and organisations that have a high number of visitors who are over the age of 55. Dementia is a problem for everyone, not just the elderly and everyone, from the very young to the very old, can play a vital part in helping to make Warwickshire a dementia friendly community.

What materials are available?

We have two attractive flyers; one covers the major signs and symptoms associated with dementia to enable people to spot these in themselves and others and the second covers how a healthy lifestyle may contribute to reducing a person’s risk of dementia.

P1030288 P1030289

We also have dementia awareness bookmarks, featuring information on the Partnership, links to our online content and the highly-innovative dementia Portal. Finally, we have some rubber wrist bands featuring the Partnership logo and link to the Portal.

Wrist Bands P1030293

what do we do next?

If you would like to have a supply of our dementia awareness materials, please send an email with the name and address of your business or organisation to The Dementia Partnership and we will send you a supply through the post. We will also add you to our mailing list so you can get the latest news about our progress towards being dementia friendly and how you might be able to get involved more in the future.

We are really hoping for a good response to this, as this will help our aim of making Warwickshire a better place for people with dementia to live and look forward to hearing from You.

Warwickshire commit to becoming a dementia friendly community.

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

As part of Warwickshire’s delivery of the Living well with dementia in Warwickshire strategy and in response to the Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia 2012, Warwickshire has committed to work towards becoming a dementia friendly community.

What does it mean to be dementia friendly?

People with dementia can find it difficult to access the community and take part in everyday tasks such as visiting the shops, going to the bank or meeting up with friends for coffee. As a result they may withdraw from these types of activities and are at risk from becoming isolated and lonely.

We have pledged to become dementia friendly by promoting and ensuring the following:

  • People will receive their diagnosis at the earliest stage possible in their dementia journey and will be provided with appropriate support following this
  • People with a dementia diagnosis are supported to retain their independence and are able to exercise choice and control
  • People in Warwickshire are able to live full lives within the community doing the things they did before their diagnosis and feeling confident in undertaking every day tasks such as visiting the shops without fear of stigma
  • Awareness of the signs and symptoms of dementia and how dementia effects people’s lives are increased, thereby reducing the overall stigma;

In Warwickshire, according to latest estimates there are 7,404 people with dementia. This is likely to rise to 9,940 people with dementia by 2021. There are many types of dementia, with Alzheimer’s disease being the most common and Vascular dementia, the second most common type. People with dementia often have problems with their cognition, memory and ability to undertake activities of daily living. They may also need support from carers, family members and/or health and social care professionals.

Being dementia friendly is about being aware of the impact that dementia has on a person and how this might affect their behaviour and their ability to undertake everyday tasks. If we are more dementia aware, it is likely that we will understand the issues that someone with dementia may face, and we can adjust our approach to ensure that we are able to better support people with dementia to remain active and part of their community.

We have made positive progress so far in ensuring Warwickshire is a dementia friendly place to live:

  • we have used our influence to gain commitment from Fire and rescue, libraries, pharmacies, leisure centres to pledge to become dementia friendly.
  • We have submitted a dementia action alliance for Warwickshire to the dementia action alliance website which outlines Warwickshire key commitments to becoming dementia friendly.
  • we have and will be involving people with dementia and their carers in understanding ‘who’ the key services and organizations are that we need to engage to be dementia friendly.
  •  we have launched the living well with dementia portal – which contains a range of information and advice about dementia and aims to raise public awareness of dementia and associated conditions: Coventry and Warwickshire Living Well with Dementia Portal.

Find out more

You can find out more on the links below:

Dementia Action Alliance – For general information about Dementia Friendly Communities 

Dementia Action Alliance – Warwickshire County Council’s Commitment

Dementia Action Alliance – Coventry City Council’s Commitment 

If you would like to find out more about how you as an individual or your organisation can become dementia friendly please contact: The Coventry and Warwickshire Dementia Partnership

We need your help developing website content for people living with a dementia diagnosis.

Tags

, , , , , , ,

We are developing additional webpages for the Coventry and Warwickshire Dementia Portal, written especially for people with dementia in the early stages, and we need your help.

We are asking for your ideas about what would be useful content for the webpages. It could contain practical tips and strategies to help people to remain independent, to help cope with stress and low mood, engage with others socially and/or learn new skills.

Please help us to develop the webpages by completing this short questionnaire. Simply click on the link below and you can complete the questions online:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/145dementia897

We will use this important information to help us to develop the content and tools offered. All ideas and comments will remain anonymous and confidential.

Thank you for your help. If you have any questions, please contact Dr Emmie Fulton (Project lead) on 024 7688 7171 or emmie.fulton@coventry.ac.uk.

You can find out more about these developments by visiting this longer post from Emmie: Dr Emmie Fulton Asks – Dementia: Time to Inspire and Instil Some Hope?

Dr Emmie Fulton Asks – Dementia: Time to Inspire and Instil Some Hope?

Tags

, , , , , , ,

One of the goals of the current ‘Coventry and Warwickshire Living well with dementia’, which campaign launched in October 2012, is to raise awareness and reduce stigma about dementia.

We all have different levels of knowledge about what dementia is and it means different things to each of us. People living with dementia are sometimes thought as those requiring high-levels of formal care, struggling to remember where they are, to recognise those around them and to engage in their own life or their future. In fact, this common perception fails to recognise that many people with dementia, especially those in the earlier stages, may still be working, doing voluntary work, starting new activities, learning new skills, actively engaging in the community and learning new ways to manage their illness.

‘’I believe that an important reason patients go downhill the way they usually do is because society sends them a devastating message that their lives are already over.’  - Morris Friedell: Dementia Advocacy and Support Network International (DASNI).

My name is Dr Emmie Fulton, I am a Health Psychologist and I work for Coventry University and Public Health NHS Warwickshire. I Recently began working on projects to support people following a diagnosis of dementia. I soon realised how little I knew. Like many people, the image I had of a person with dementia was really that of someone in the late stages of the illness, and I had no idea about the very different ways that the illness can affect people. What struck me more than anything else was the fact that the majority of support and information available is aimed at carers and those supporting people with dementia. Although I recognised the great importance of this, I couldn’t help but wonder why there was so little written and provided for a person with dementia themselves. This only seemed to reinforce the mistake that society can make that a person with dementia is no longer able to be actively involved in their health, their future, their life.

If the expectation is that you will not be able to learn new hobbies, do things for yourself, and take control of your own health, is it any wonder that some people with dementia feel hopeless and become depressed and withdrawn? The purpose of ‘Coventry and Warwickshire’s Living Well with Dementia’ campaign is to challenge these views and to promote the message that with help and support, people can live well with dementia. As part of this campaign, an information portal for dementia has been developed that aims to provide comprehensive information to people with dementia, their carers and the wider public about dementia. Linked to this we plan on developing additional web-pages written especially for people with dementia in the early stages and we are interested in hearing your thoughts about this.Recent Government reports tell us that they are committed to ensuring people receive a diagnosis of dementia as early as possible. This enables people to access information and support in a timely manner. The aim of the additional web-pages is to provide a positive message about what people can do for their physical and mental well-being, to help them to live well with dementia.

“We need to focus on ….. daring to try to recover skills, develop new talents, and create a new future invested with meaning and hope”. - Christine Bryden, in her book: ‘Dancing with Dementia’

We need your help to develop the webpages and are asking for your ideas about what would be useful content for the web-pages. It could contain practical tips and strategies to help people to remain independent, cope with stress and low mood, engage with others socially or learn new skills.

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf”  - Jon Kabat-Zinn, 2004

Information about what dementia is and sign-posting to local services and support is well provided for by the Alzheimer’s Society and the new Coventry and Warwickshire Living Well with Dementia Portal. Therefore, the webpages will not focus on this specifically; however it will link to these sources. We realise that many people with dementia do not use the internet and may prefer not to receive support in this way. However we are aiming to provide people with a range of options in terms of how they access information and hope that as society ages, those receiving a diagnosis will be more familiar with the internet, and therefore this method of support will become more and more relevant to people. We welcome all ideas and thoughts. The most important thing for us is that it will provide something hopeful and useful to people living with dementia.

Please help us to develop the webpages by completing this short online questionnaire. Simply click on the link below and you can complete the questions:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/145dementia897

We will use this important information to help us to develop the content and tools offered. All ideas and comments will remain anonymous and confidential.

Thank you for your help. If you have any questions, please contact Dr Emmie Fulton (Project lead) on 02476 887171 or emmie.fulton@coventry.ac.uk

Coventry and Warwickshire Living Well with Dementia Partnership Portal gets off to a great start

Tags

, , , , , ,

It’s been a hectic few weeks since we launched the Coventry and Warwickshire Living Well with Dementia Portal, which is one of the reasons for the delay in sharing some of the pictures and memories from the event.

First-things-first and in case you have missed it, you can find the links to different areas of our new website below:

The Launch event took place throughout the day on Thursday 25th October in the Council Chamber and ante chamber at Shire Hall, Warwick.

In the morning, invited guests attended networking and formal presentations on the website and partnership. We were very impressed to see such a great turn-out, with over 50 people attending the formal launch presentation, and would like to sincerely thank everyone who attended. There was a pleasing buzz to proceedings throughout the day and some brilliant follow-up feedback suggesting that those present found it a useful morning. We certainly did!

There were several presentations:

Cllr Jose Compton, Dementia Champion for Warwickshire County Council, and Cllr Ann Lucas, Health and Wellbeing portfolio holder at Coventry City Council who spoke on the issues of dementia across Coventry and Warwickshire and who celebrated the good working arrangements between the two authorities in providing joined-up information, advice and services across both counties:

Chris Lewington, Head of Strategic Commissioning at Warwickshire County Council, who spoke about the Dementia Strategy and the high-level of partnership working and user engagement that had led to the creation of the portal. Chris also explained that the portal is a living site that would be added-to and developed over time:

I gave a brief run through of the website and social media applications and how the content had been arrived at, answering a few questions from the audience along the way:

Finally, Tony Robinson, Warwickshire County Council’s Transformation assembly ambassador, how previously cared for someone with dementia and is a volunteer for the Alzheimer’s society gave an eloquent speech on the problems he faced in accessing the right information at the right time when he cared  forsomeone with dementia. Tony hopes that the website will be able to alleviate some of those issues for people in the future:

Those of you familiar with this blog will recall Tony has already had a guest post on here talking about the Alzheimer’s Society Early Diagnosis Pilot. Since writing that post, we are pleased to say, Tony has been selected by the Society to be the face of their Christmas Media Campaign.

Following the presentations and question and answer session, there were further networking opportunities and chances to look at the stalls in the ante chamber from a variety of providers and services such as books on prescription and the Alzheimer’s society.

As morning gave way to afternoon, Katie and I were kept busy with a steady stream of people who had come to take a look at the portal and collect some of the dementia awareness material during the advertised drop-in sessions, which kept us busy for the remainder of the day.

On behalf of the Partnership, we would like to extend kind thanks to everyone who attended on the day and made it the lively, useful and informative event that it was.

What other people have said

Throughout the launch event and since, we have had some great feedback from Twitter in relation to the portal. Here are some highlights:

Read this Tweet on Twitter

Read this Tweet on Twitter

Read this conversation on Twitter

You can also watch the Warwickshire 60 second news edition that was dedicated to the Portal Launch: Dementia Partnership lend a helping hand to people with dementia:

So, What’s next?

We will continue to review and improve the Partnership website, building on the fantastic networks that this event helped reinforce. We will also be distributing our dementia awareness material to sites across Coventry and Warwickshire and will continue to engage key partners to ensure that people are signposted to the portal at an appropriate point in their journey with dementia.

Want to show your support for the Partnership?

It would be great to see as many people as possible wearing our lovely dementia awareness wristbands. If you live and Coventry or Warwickshire and would like one of your very own, drop us an email with your name and address and we’ll send you one out in the post: promotionsandpublication@warwickshire.gov.uk

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,258 other followers