Activity Based Befriending and Respite
A story by Baillieston Community Care
The project provided flexible respite care at home to support carers of individuals living with Dementia in the East End of Glasgow.
Cared For individuals received home befriending/activities allowing the carers some “ME” time, to have a break from caring.
What Activity Based Befriending and Respite did
We have an open referral system and have promoted our service widely to encourage those who are not currently receiving any support to self-refer and there has been a high demand. We are pleased that we have really been able to connect with families who have never had any input from services before and were really lost in terms of where to go and what to do. By using our service it has introduced them to receiving care and given them confidence to approach and engage with other services that are beneficial to them.
We advertised the service by meeting with SW’s from the area team, Community Health Team including CPN’s. Contacted local Carers Centres, on our website, in local paper, in a free local services booklet distributed to homes/local businesses in our catchment, in our monthly newsletter, held service user and carers meetings and poster in our reception.
Respite took place in the home of the person to be cared for or in their carers home. The sessional respite sitters provided activity based befriending respite for the cared for whilst their carer had a break. Carers could be flexible with hours and use them however they wished and in a way that would be most beneficial to them, this could be during the day, evenings or weekends.
We have been able to provide 1060 hours to 22 cared for/carers. Carers have been able to meet up with family members, sons, daughters for a relaxing lunch/dinner; get bills/correspondence dealt with; go shopping; meet ex work colleagues; go to hairdressers; some pampering; catch up on sleep, go to the cinema/concert.
What Baillieston Community Care has learned
In delivering the project this year we have really seen a marked difference in the amount of people who, in spite of having a diagnosis of dementia and a government guarantee for post diagnostic support, were coming to us with little or no information about dementia or what to do next. We were able to use the project to help deliver some post diagnostic support and provide our carers with information and signposting about accessing services, applying for SDS and how social work services can help.
We have strived to make the service more personalised by discussing with the carers and clients new and alternative ways in which we can use the respite to enhance the experience for both the carer and the one being cared for. In assessment stages we have really tried to identify new places and activities that staff can try with the client and we have taken time at that stage to really chat with the carers and try to help them identify what they might like to do in their periods of respite as in the past we have found the carers reluctant to leave the house or try anything for themselves as they felt guilty or scared to do something for themselves. We have really put an emphasis on working closely with the carers to identify options.
How Baillieston Community Care has benefitted from the funding
The difference the fund had made to our organisation has been fantastic. It offered us flexibility and alternative options that we could offer to carers and their loved ones. It provided opportunities for staff to develop and enhance their knowledge and skills in caring for people with dementia and illustrated to them the struggles the unpaid carers are under and how they can help them cope with the caring role and how vital periods of respite are.
12 carers of older people with dementia have taken the opportunity to have at least 12 hours ME time respite once a month to enjoy an activity or meet up with friends and family.
22 carers have received approximately 48 hours of respite over the past 12 months. They have been able to use this as required depending on their circumstances and time required. Many more requested support and we wanted to assist as many as possible.
We provided support to a female carer (D) who cares for her father who has dementia and now lives with her having been recently widowed. D had given up her job to care for her dad as he became very distressed if he had to be left alone for any length of time as he was not used to this. This was causing D also distress as she could not go out even to do the shopping without receiving calls from her dad all through the time she was out. We paired the man with a male support worker at first although he didn’t seem to be engaging very much. We then tried a female support worker which seemed to make such a difference. The man started talking to the support worker about his past and the life he had with his wife. They now have a good relationship where he will play cards, listen to music and reminisce about the life he had with his wife and family. His daughter has noticed a difference and is able to go out and meet with friends or a lunch with old work colleagues or simply get the shopping done and bills paid with the peace of mind that her dad isn’t distressed and she can still maintain a bit of a life for herself and it has reduced her stress levels knowing that her dad is safe and content.
12 carers will report improved family relationships through relieved stress and tension from the opportunity to have regular respite breaks.
We were able to provide 22 carers the opportunity to meet with staff to discuss issues surrounding dementia as well as attending our regular monthly support group meetings where they were able to get peer support and build friendships with others in the same situation We were also able to sign post carers to additional contacts and provide information on subjects relating to their situations such as Self Directed Support, Maximising Benefits, Social Work Services, Dementia and Legal Affairs as well as providing training to better support them in their caring role.
S who has for many years being caring for her husband with dementia without support was informed of our service by a friend. To support S we provided her with 3 hours of respite per month with one of our support workers looking after her husband in the family home but also taking him to the local golf club to see others playing and meeting up with old friends as he had been a keen golfer. As well as giving S some time to herself it was also clear that she required additional support and information. Our support workers have been proactive in cascading relevant information regarding other services and how to access them including helping S and her husband through assessment processes, attending meetings and speaking to social work departments on their behalf with updated information on how the client is progressing and what additional support they need. S was also encouraged to come along to our monthly support group meetings, social evenings and Saturday drop-in with her husband giving them both the chance for more social interaction and building confidence and reducing isolation. S is also able to get some pampering treatments at the Saturday drop-in or pop out for a few hours to get her hair done or some shopping as there is a lot of activities going on to keep her husband occupied and looked after – again providing her with some respite The monthly support meetings, social evenings and Saturday drop-in have also provided S with some peer support and the chance for a chat with others in the same situation who have also been able to pass on some vital tips.
12 carers and 12 older people with dementia will have reduced stress levels with more opportunities to enjoy friendship and hobbies/outings.
We have been able to provide 1060 hours of respite for 22 carers where they have had the opportunity to have some time to themselves, meet up with friends or other family members, get their hair done or shopping in peace. We have been able to provide 1060 hours of Befriending respite for 22 cared for who have undertaken activities such as stimulation games, reminiscence, reality orientation, knitting, sewing, craft making, word games, outings to the park and other places of interest or simply out for tea/coffee or a walk
We provided support to a lady who has dementia and also registered blind. L lives with her husband and he is her full time carer. We provided this service for them to allow L’s husband to have time away from his caring role where he was able to meet some old friends and family members as well as doing the shopping, get a haircut and go to the bank to pay bills. We offered them 4 hours every fortnight. During our visits the support worker used items from our enhanced sensory project such as items with different textures and smells to engage L. We also created a playlist for life with music that they shared together throughout their marriage. The playlist for life helps to relieve anxiety when L’s husband is out.