St Hugh’s Dementia Project
Friendship at Home currently have two members of staff (Mandy and Clare) who support people with memory concerns (including those diagnosed with Dementia) and their families/carers in North East Lincolnshire. This ongoing service provides one to one practical, emotional advice and information on many things including:
- Useful equipment and techniques
- Coping strategies
- Health/diagnosis support
- Social activities
- Benefits advice
- Respite and residential care
- Future planning including end of life care
What our members said:
“We don’t know what we would have done without you”
“You’ve told me more in the last hour than my social worker has ever told me”
“I can’t believe how much there is out there that we didn’t know about”
“Dementia is not such a dark place with your help and support”
Case study 1
Mr X lives with his wife Mrs X who was worried about her husband’s memory, Mr X refused to talk about it and did not want to seek medical advice or any outside support from anybody. Mrs X felt very alone and afraid that she was dealing with such a scary future and could not speak to her husband about it or get help from anyone else. Mandy worked closely with Mrs X to ensure she was emotionally supported in her caring role. Mandy told Mrs X that she was entitled to claim for attendance allowance and this extra money financed a cleaner and gardener that freed up time for Mrs X to spend quality time with her husband instead of being overloaded with chores. Mandy also spoke about techniques and materials that were useful to help Mr X understand that Dementia is a big part of many people’s lives, thus normalising Mr X’s fears and giving him confidence to speak more openly about his memory concerns with less fear. Mr and Mrs X now support and understand each other better and can talk to one another about their wishes for the future if, and when Mr X’s needs increase. Mr and Mrs X know that they can contact Mandy at Friendship at Home at any time if they would like any further advice or information and that Mandy will contact them on a regular basis to see how things are going and to ensure they remain supported at all times.
Case Study 2
Mr Z called Friendship at Home because he lived 70 miles away from his mother and felt a huge sense of responsibility to visit her weekly because she was always complaining she was lonely, and her memory was not too good, this was obviously impacting on Mr Z’s family life. At first Mr Z’s mother was reluctant to accept help from outside the family, Clare went to meet Mr Z and his Mother initially, then visited every week for six weeks getting to know her and building trust.
Eventually Mrs Z got used to Clare’s visits, found the information she gave very useful and now meets with our other members at a weekly social club where she has made many friends. Mrs Z knows that she can rely upon Friendship at Home if she has any worries or concerns and she will be given information and encouraged to make her own choices to maintain her independence for as long as possible. Mrs Z now receives attendance allowance and this allows her to finance additional help where she needs it without being so reliant upon her son.