Dementia Centred

By Ailidh Aikman

April 13th, 2018

Supporting family carers and volunteers

Over the last ten years, the DSDC has been delivering funded carer events across the UK. Our latest project, 'Dementia Education for Family Carers and Volunteers', focuses on extending carers events to include volunteers. We are delighted that the project has now received its full funding requirement to allow us to run the face to face events until November 2018 and develop our online hub.

Current UK policy is heavily weighted on promoting excellence within the work force to support people with dementia, but it is just as important to educate family carers and voluntary sector staff who are often at the forefront of support. Family carers provide the majority of support for their loved one and research by Prince et al (2014) states that two thirds of people with dementia live in their own homes. With current UK figures suggesting there are 820,000 people with dementia in the UK, there is a huge network of people who could greatly benefit from education and support.

Volunteers are playing a vital role now, more than ever in supporting families and those living with dementia to remain at home. The UK Civil Society Almanac 2017 published figures highlighting that around 14.2 million people volunteered, in a formal capacity, at least once a month in the UK. It is suggested that the value of this volunteering was estimated to be worth £22.6bn per year.

With this in mind, the dementia education for family carers and volunteer’s project was developed to support an improved understanding of the impact of dementia for the person. Considering practical solutions and interventions that may be helpful for both family carers and volunteers in their roles. Developed in partnership with local organisations: Royal Voluntary Service (RVS); Stirling Carer Centre; Food Train; Town Break; and Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA), the project is split into two phases.

Phase one (which started in October 2017) launched the provision of monthly face to face workshops held at the Iris Murdoch Building, home of the DSDC at the University of Stirling. Workshops have been developed to provide practical solutions for carers and volunteers.

With an appreciation that not everyone is able to attend a face to face workshop, phase two of the project will see the creation of an online platform to support phase one activities.

The DSDC is delighted to have received the full funding requirement in order to bring the project to fruition. We would like to take this opportunity to extend a huge thank you to all of our project funders, including RS Macdonald, The Hugh Fraser Foundation and our invaluable local fundraisers.

For more information on the project, and to book your space on the workshop, please contact us at dementia@stir.ac.uk or on 01786 467740.

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Categories: Carers