What is it?
As part of a plan to become a more dementia friendly organisation, the Waltham Forest HA (WFHA) Support Services Team set up a monthly group for all sheltered residents to enhance the lives of people with dementia. The group provides friendship, specifically designed activities, reminiscence events, and specific dementia equipment including toolkits and books. It also enables tenants without dementia to better understand the illness their neighbours have and how they can support them and help to improve their lives.
What were its aims?
To enhance the lives of people with dementia and to enable tenants without dementia to better understand the illness their neighbours have and how they can support them as part of a strategy to become a more dementia friendly organisation and a commitment to the principles of the Waltham Forest Dementia Action Alliance (WFDAA) which meets regularly and encourages local people and businesses to become more dementia friendly.
What were the outcomes?
Tenants and their neighbours have a better understanding of dementia and those with dementia are better supported, less isolated and are able to maintain independence for longer as well are improving their general health and well-being through stimulating activities. Understanding and good practice is shared through the WFDAA and through a training session with Orbit Charitable Trust which brought together a group of small housing associations to research into dementia and how housing providers can become dementia friendly. WFHA was also featured in the final report and an Inside Housing article “Rooms for Dignity” http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/careers/case-studies/room-for-dignity/7002165.article
The project has also equipped front line staff with the skills and knowledge to better support people with dementia and to deal with complaints from other tenants who interpret dementia as intentional antisocial behaviour. The sessions helped tenants to understand the signs and symptoms of dementia and how this can affect the individual.
Why we like it
This project is well grounded in a local and national strategic focus on dementia. It brings together residents, of different ages and from diverse backgrounds, with dementia and their neighbours in a relaxed environment where they can participate as much or as little as they like. It reduces the isolation often experienced by people with dementia and improves the understanding of those without dementia so they can better provide support.
Find out more
Cheryl Whittle, Support Services Manager
T: 0208 524 6987 / E: firstname.lastname@example.org