As the leading local provider of care for older people outside the statutory sector, working with an estimated 700 people per week across all our services, we are increasingly in contact with people experiencing memory loss, confusion and dementia, both pre and post diagnosis.
Dementia is the biggest global social health crisis with 46.8 million people diagnosed worldwide. Kingston, Reigate and Banstead boroughs have a higher age expectancy and an above average number of people with dementia than the rest of the UK.
Our award-winning, evidence-based, community team is well established in Kingston, working in partnership with GPs. We have pioneered an innovative approach to peer support for people living with dementia and their carers through our popular Saturday Club. As a provider of universal services we have a broader appeal than condition-specific service providers and have an excellent understanding of the local health and social care landscape. We work in partnership with the local voluntary sector, CCG, Kingston Hospital and Your Healthcare CIC.
The Saturday Club is for people living with dementia, their families and supporters. It meets on the 2nd Saturday of every month at Raleigh House in New Malden, from 11.00 am to 2.00 pm, with a light lunch served at 12 noon. It costs £5 to attend and provides an opportunity to socialise in a supportive environment as well as access to specialist information and advice. This innovative model is structured for both the person with dementia and for their carer (rather than carers alone), and promotes peer support. Contact us at Raleigh House to book a place.
Staywell’s Raleigh House day centre in New Malden offers a universal model of day service; currently about a third of users are living with dementia or some form of memory loss and/or functional mental health issues. The service provides opportunities for social interaction, stimulation and easy access to Staywell’s specialist Advice & Information and other support services (e.g. Help@Home). The Bradbury in Kingston supports a number of people with low-level mental health issues, providing peer support and a Bereavement Support Group. Both services provide opportunities for carer respite.
A one-to-one befriending pathway for clients who are identified as being particularly isolated and housebound is available via our Community Team. Volunteers visit one week and call the next; input is provided in four month blocks and then reviewed, but can be continued. An adapted Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale is utilised at the beginning of the input and revisited every four months to monitor client progress.
Clients are contacted by phone by a volunteer each week for a conversation of up to half an hour. The In Touch service achieves a number of aims, including providing regular social contact, a means of monitoring a client’s health and mental wellbeing, referral onto other services should the need arise, monitoring of take up of other services and implementation of a specific client care plan.
Lene Wood is Dementia Development Coordinator for Kingston borough.
Staywell was awarded a contract by Kingston Clinical Commissioning Group, with two aims: to coordinate the establishment of sustainable local peer support networks across the borough, and to provide project support to Kingston Dementia Alliance to create ‘Dementia Friendly Kingston’, from April 2016.
Our Dementia Development Coordinator qualified as a Dementia Champion and in the year 2016-17 ran 38 awareness sessions, creating 689 new Dementia Friends in Kingston.
Dementia Friends is a national initiative, with a target of creating four million Dementia Friends – people who have attended a 50-minute information session, and have committed to taking three actions to make a difference to the lives of people living with dementia; there are now two million UK Dementia friends. Participating in this training is now mandatory for all Staywell staff, and an initial target of 50% of volunteers.
These sessions have been delivered to all Kingston Council services, all four main libraries, all three leisure centres, Kingston’s Rose Theatre, Kingston Museum and the town centre management, ‘Kingston First’.
Our Coordinator has provided sessions with Kingston Police, including the older vulnerable persons’ team and mental health officers, Neighbourhood Watch and community police. Sessions have also been delivered at all fire stations, GP surgeries, some banks and building societies and businesses. Public sessions are held every month for anyone to attend. We have had a huge amount of positive feedback on this work.
‘Your training input has been really appreciated within Kingston police and all its officers. I personally have been approached by officers who have given great feedback after your training. One Police Officer has said it was the best course he had attended in his whole Police career!’
(Kingston Borough Mental Health Liaison Officer)
The initiative has been energetically promoted: the Coordinator has attended numerous networking events, such as Chamber Commerce and Omni breakfasts, and has presented to all the Conservative Councillors, The Mayor and Chief Executive of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, as well as ensuring the work is featured on many websites, in local magazine/newspaper articles and social network sites, and promoted through information stands at local events.
The National Dementia Action Alliance is an alliance of organisations across England to connect, share best practice and take action on dementia. Kingston’s Dementia Action Alliance (KDAA) was launched in May 2016, with five members: Staywell, Alzheimer’s society, Kingston Healthwatch, Kingston Older People’s Community Mental Health Team and care provider Home Instead. Membership has since increased to 27, including social care providers, government bodies, pharmacists and GPs, Kingston Hospital, businesses, charities and wellbeing organisations.
Staywell’s Dementia Development Coordinator plays a key role in supporting KDAA, whose objective is to improve the wellbeing of people living with dementia, and their carers and loved ones.
Staywell provides regular dementia training to both its staff and volunteers, including Best Practice in Dementia Care, accredited by City & Guilds, the Royal College of Nursing and SCQF (Scottish Credit & Qualifications Framework).
Read how Staywell helped one couple living with dementia.