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Dementia Adviser's Survey

The aim of this research was to explore the provision of services available to older people, with particular reference to dementia adviser services throughout England. To achieve this, those responsible for commissioning dementia adviser services within Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Local Authorities (LAs), were invited to complete an online survey in October/November 2015.

Dementia advisers provide a single identifiable point of contact for people with dementia and their carers following a diagnosis. They have knowledge of and direct access to the whole range of available local services, providing advice, information about where to get care and enabling contact with other services.

Having a single point of contact was highlighted as being an essential element of effective post-diagnostic care in the Prime Minister’s challenge on dementia 2020.

Key Findings

  • Across all regions, commissioners reported a range of services available for older people in their area.

  • In three-quarters of cases, the people providing dementia adviser services are known as Dementia Advisers, but they are also sometimes known as Dementia Support Workers, Dementia Care Advisers, and Dementia Navigators.

  • Almost all (99%) participants say that support for carers is available in their service area.

  • Community support and activities, domiciliary care, information and advisory services and residential care in private sector homes are also widely available (98% of commissioners mention these).

  • This is followed by 96% who say that there is provision of equipment in the home for older people and 94% who say that home adaptations are available for older people.

  • Dementia adviser services were found in most of the areas surveyed, with 81 out of 89 (91%) commissioners stating that there is a dementia adviser service or similar in their area.

  • Commissioners use many resources to inform the commissioning of dementia services. The majority (90%) of commissioners within LAs use the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) dementia gateway

  • Nearly half (47%) of the commissioners responding said that they jointly commission dementia adviser services with other CCGs and LAs.

  • Commissioners report that dementia advisers communicate with a variety of people and organisations on behalf of the people they support, most frequently memory clinic staff (95%), community social services (91%), support groups (89%) and community health services (85%).

  • In addition to providing individual support and advice for people with dementia and their carers, 73% of commissioners responding highlight that dementia advisers run support groups for people with dementia and 67% run support groups for the carers of people with dementia. Three in five (59%) also run education groups for people with dementia and their carers and provide dementia friends training

  • One in ten (10%) commissioners say that dementia advisers have provided their services for between 201 and 500 people in the past year and 7% for each of the following; over 2,000 people, between 501 and 1,000 people and between 101 and 200 people

 

Health Matter: midlife approaches to reduce dementia risk

I have also attached the latest edition of Health matters, a resource for health professionals and local government which aims to support commissioning and the delivery of local services, shows that dementia is not an inevitable part of ageing for your information and CPD.