Having the necessary supports in place for people living with dementia and their families is vital in terms of lightening the burden. The Five steps to Living Well with Dementia in South Tipperary was a pilot jointly funded by the HSE and Genio Trust and started in 2012. It was established to try innovative ways to support people with dementia and their families and is now an HSE funded service.
During the pilot, a wide range of activities were carried out to raise awareness about dementia, encourage early diagnosis , explore post diagnostic supports , trial assistive technologies, offer home based support with trained workers, and find out what people with dementia and carers wanted around end of life care.
The service was informed by a will to seek out best practices for dealing with dementia and it now offers a range of important interventions:
- A single point of contact with the dementia nurse specialist.
- Assessment at home with the dementia nurse specialist and advice.
- An hour’s session with the Occupational Therapist who makes available a wide range of assistive technologies.
- Home based support which is goal focused and provided by trained dementia support workers and client lead.
- Crisis intervention support can be offered provides care to prevent a hospital or nursing home admission on a short term basis.
- Once off one day off for carers to engage in personal time.
Five Steps to Living Well with Dementia not only promotes independence for the patient, but recognises and supports carers to make their job a little bit easier.