Better Together, our core project, comprises a range of services for older people with early-onset dementia and/or mild congitive impairment issues. All activities are run by fully trained staff with the assistance of volunteers and external facilitators.
For in-person support, we adhere strictly to all Covid19 government guidelines and precautions including temperature checks, social distancing, limited numbers and the wearing of full PPE by staff, volunteers and facilitators.
- Dementia Support Groups (DSGs): The primary purpose of our group is to offer a safe and supportive environment to help each individual continue to engage socially. Members enjoy discussions, refreshments and activities, carefully chosen to stimulate cognitive ability. We also regularly bring in external facilitators to facilitate activities such as arts & crafts, music and song, and a range of different therapies such as hand massage or armchair exercises.
The groups meet once a week for two hours . Members are picked up from their homes and left off at home again, this can offer carers up to three hours of respite while their loved ones attend groups.
We currently run DSGs in Ballymoney, Coleraine, Portrush and Portstewart, and are planning to expand to other towns in the area such as Limavady, Ballycastle and an extra Coleraine group.
- One-to-one home support: Staff visit people living with early on set dementia in their homes and offer one-to-one companionship for approximately one hour in which we participate in friendly chat and also engage in a few activities. This also offers respite for their carers.
- Telephone support: Staff make scheduled phone calls to people with dementia for friendly conversation. Calls generally last between 15 and 30 minutes, also providing respite and support for carers.
- Zoom video support: We are also planning to introduce remote video support through Zoom in the near future. Using a tablet, computer or phone, people living with dementia and their carers will be able to participate in activities with others.
These sessions will be hosted and delivered by a member of staff. The activities will include reminiscence, music, song, trivia quizzes and more. Sessions are planned to last approximately 45 minutes. Once a month an external facilitator such as a musical performer will lead the activity. Training will be provided by ACC regarding how to access and use the service
All Better Together services are provided free of charge, although of course donations are always very welcome!
Thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund for its generous support.