Role of a Dementia Advisor: Supporting you, your family and your friends within your local community

“This support is person centred and we strive to ensure we are providing the right support at the right time”

Increasing social support

Within North Lanarkshire we have a variation of supports available including one to one and group support which allows us to get to know the person really well, identifying interests and hobbies to allow the person to enjoy a quality life.  These supports enable the person to access community links, and also socialise with people within their local area.  We know that reducing isolation and increasing social support is paramount.

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We understand that not everyone will enjoy one to one or group support, therefore we have recently started a Dining Club in the evening at a local hotel and also a Brunch Club, within a pub setting to encourage people who are worried about their memory to come along.  These types of supports are ideal for younger adults to enjoy, as it is seen as a less formal support within friendly welcoming environments.  We very much encourage families and friends to come along and participate to ensure we are supporting and involving everyone that’s facing dementia.

Confidence to talk about dementia

Many people who receive the diagnosis of dementia are still of working age, therefore as the dementia progresses, work may not be as simple as it used to be.  On many occasions people have to give up work.  However they still have many skills and qualities that can be used in a different way.  Thinking about this and how we can involve people living with dementia more, we now have people sitting on the interview panel when recruiting staff for Alzheimer Scotland Lanarkshire Services. This has worked very well for all parties involved where one of the panel said

‘I feel like I have a purpose’ and ‘feel like it helped knowing what type of person may be supporting me in the future.’

It has given him a focus and something to look forward to also, more importantly the confidence to talk about dementia.  He has been diagnosed for a while and only recently started telling people.  He now attends the dementia cafes within his local community to increase his social support.  His wife is much happier as they both are now socialising with other people in similar situations as themselves.  His wife said

 ‘It’s not as scary as you first think; people are living well and looking well.’ 

The couple also attend the dining club.  This allows them to meet other people within a really nice environment and if/when they need more formal supports, they are known to us.

Have your voice heard

We actively ask people to become more involved within their area thus allowing their voices to be heard.  We link into the Scottish Dementia Working Group (SDWG) and also work closely with the Deputy Regional Managers who are currently recruiting people within their local regions to develop a local dementia working groups, which will help a wider voice be heard of those living well with dementia.  I met one man after he became involved and he said to me

I’ve never been so busy since I got that D word – a diary!!!!!!’ 

Fantastic feedback.  This allows that man to manage his diary and workload to ensure he isn’t overwhelmed or overloaded, a great asset to have within our local community.

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Welcome your comments

I would be interested to hear your comments on this blog and your reflection on what kind of support works for you if you are living with dementia or a carer or a family member?

More information

If you wish to become more involved within North Lanarkshire please contact Lorna Hart on 01698 539790 or email lhart@alzscot.org

Or if you wish to become more involved in your own local care, please call the Dementia Helpline 0808 808 3000or visit our website www.alzscot.org

 

lorna hartLorna Hart

Dementia Advisor – North Lanarkshire @hart_lorna

My role is all about supporting people with dementia and their families within their local community ensuring that they are coping and living well. Providing people with the right information at the right time and signpost to appropriate organisations if need be. I thrive on enabling, empowering and encouraging people to plan for the future and to enjoy an active and sociable lifestyle

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3 thoughts on “Role of a Dementia Advisor: Supporting you, your family and your friends within your local community

  1. Fantastic insight to Dementia Advisor role within Alzheimer Scotland. Your post provides crucial support and advice and a point of contact allowing people to talk about anything and be listened to. Opportunities for social engagement are multiple and guided by what people want in places most appropriate, for both people living with dementia and family/carers. Dementia Advisors are an invaluable resource and a fantastic group of individuals passionate about what they do.

  2. Brilliant blog showing exactly what a dementia advisor is all about…providing person centred support to people with dementia and their families. Great resource and support for people.

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