Call for volunteers to help dementia carers

A call has gone out to people who have cared for a loved one with dementia to befriend others who are now in the same position.

Call for volunteers to help dementia carers
21 June 2018

A call has gone out to people who have cared for a loved one with dementia to befriend others who are now in the same position.

The Dementia Carers Support Service (DCSS) provided by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) is looking for volunteers to support those currently looking after someone with the condition. There are many different types of dementia including Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia and Lewy Body dementia.

DCSS provides support to family or informal carers of people with dementia throughout the journey of their caring role if they wish. Carers of people with dementia are linked to volunteers who often have first-hand carer experience. These trained and often experienced volunteers act as a befriender or buddy. The carer decides how they would like the volunteer to support them, from phone and email contact to visits at home.

Volunteers can provide emotional, social and practical support, as well as information and signposting to other services. There are also opportunities for the volunteers, carers and the person they care for to meet at social events run by the service. Unfortunately, DCSS is unable to provide a sitting service or break for the carer.

Anyone can refer. Following a referral a coordinator will arrange a meeting with the carer to discuss the service and how best they can be supported. A support plan will be developed, and a volunteer will then be matched and introduced to them.

Sally Kitchin, co-ordinator, explained: “Nearly all of us know someone with dementia and many of us find ourselves caring for a parent or partner. Some of us who have been there volunteer to help other people through a similar journey. We’re currently recruiting others who feel they could befriend and support someone caring for a loved one with dementia.”

“The volunteers often say they feel a sense of purpose in offering their time and experience to others, as well as building their skills. While the carer receives regular and consistent support from someone who understands the challenges they face, which helps to reduce their isolation and anxiety.”

Volunteers are often experienced carers who have a desire to help others. They have knowledge, skills and qualities that they can pass on to current carers of people with dementia.

As CPFT volunteers, they undergo the normal recruitment process for volunteers such as assessment of capability, appropriateness and DBS checks. They receive training and supervision and adhere to the policies and procedures of CPFT. Although they are not paid, expenses are covered.

To apply or for more information please contact co-ordinators Sally Kitchin, Estelle Wrathall or Kath Everitt on 01353 652092 or email dcss@cpft.nhs.uk 

 

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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