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Approach Dementia Support working across North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent

Approach Dementia Support works across North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent to improve the wellbeing of local people affected by dementia (both the carer and the cared for). Approach supports over 1,000 people affected by dementia per year through:
  • 1-2-1 Support (called My Day My Way) – This service supports people with dementia through regular 1-2-1 sessions to maintain positive wellbeing throughout the dementia journey. One of our Support Workers is paired with someone with dementia and supports the individual through socialisation activities tailored to the person’s interests. Our goal is to provide a tailored service which meets the needs of the individual whilst also giving carer respite. Previous activities include rambling, gardening, snooker, and shopping. This is Approach’s only paid-for or commissioned service and is charged at £21 per hour with a minimum of 2-hours per call.
  • Carer Support and Advice Sessions – Monthly, informal, free support for carers and people with dementia. During these sessions, carers are welcome to drop in and talk with our professional staff on any aspect of the dementia journey. As well as this, attendees form new friendships and share with other people who have had similar experiences in a relaxed and welcoming environment. Approach now runs monthly 2-hour sessions in 8 different locations (Biddulph, Bentilee, Madeley, Longton, Leek, Silverdale, Burslem and Cheadle) with further locations planned in Talke from February 2024 and Meir from April 2024. We base our provision on the need in the local area and demand for our services. This service is delivered by Approach’s Carer Support team, including its Carer Support Assistants and Dementia Support Advisors.
  • Dementia Training – Free training for carers throughout Staffordshire and Stoke. Training encompasses a variety of topics ranging throughout the dementia journey, with sessions on subjects such as “What Are the Symptoms of Dementia?”, “Medication for Dementia symptoms” and “What is the Role of an Admiral Nurse?”. Training takes place both face-to-face and online and gives carers valuable information on the caring journey. This service is delivered by the Dementia Support Manager. Dementia training means that Approach is able to inform and educate the wider community on the impact and effects of dementia. Training also provides information for carers, enabling them to better understand the dementia journey and be better prepared for how the effects of dementia might manifest. Sessions link in with the Dougie Mac’s Admiral Nurse team to give participants an understanding of the full breadth of support available to them throughout the dementia journey.
  • Dementia Group Support – Approach runs a variety of different group sessions to improve the wellbeing and socialisation of local people with dementia. Approach now runs 12 different types of group support services across North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent including:
    • Independent Activity Groups – Sessions run twice per week at the Dementia Centre and provide 3 hours of support in which carers can leave their loved one with our staff to participate in socialisation activities such as singing, games and reminiscence. Sessions are free and attendees gain access to 10 sessions.
    • Moulding Memories (Pottery sessions) – In partnership with British Ceramics Biennial, attendees participate in 2-hour sessions over an 8-week course, designing and making their own pottery to take home as a memento.
    • Group Support sessions in Burslem, Kidsgrove, Stoke City Football Club, Leek and Biddulph which include activities such as singing, dancing, quizzes and crafts in each 2-hour session.
    • Singing Connections in 3 different locations (Blurton, Biddulph and Leek) – 2-hour singing groups to improve wellbeing and spark musical memories.
    • Reminiscence sessions – In partnership with Stoke City FC, past players give talks on their time with the club and recollections of the city.
Group sessions encourage socialisation for people with dementia and aim to reduce the impact of isolation that can occur with a dementia diagnosis.
  • Form Filling Support – Support with enabling further access to entitlements to support the dementia journey including Attendance Allowance, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Council Tax Discounts or Blue Badge applications. Support is available for free for carers. This service is run by our Carer Support and Advice team. Appointments can take place at the Dementia Centre or at home. This service enables people to access the benefits they’re entitled to and gain financial support as well as enable future planning. Many carers are unfamiliar with the form-filling process and do not wish to do the task online. Sitting down with one of our carer support staff means they have peace of mind that the application will be completed to requirements.
In 2018, Approach Dementia Support and the Dougie Mac Hospice started a Strategic Alliance together. This Alliance was set up in recognition of the shared ethos between Dougie Mac’s Palliative care and Approach’s support. On a practical level, the alliance means that the best of both charities can be used to benefit local people affected by dementia. Approach are based at the Dementia Centre on the Dougie Mac Hospice site, providing support tailored for people from the early stages of diagnosis through the mild to moderate stages of dementia. Meanwhile, Dougie Mac’s Admiral Nurse team provide tailored support for people affected by dementia in more advanced stages of the condition:

Facebook as @ApproachStaffs and Twitter/X. Website is https://approachstaffordshire.co.uk/

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