For immediate release Thursday 1 March, 2012
For further information Samantha Whitwham (email@example.com)
Contact number 0117 3012624 or 07525 128297
The British Red Cross has launched a new service in North East Shropshire offering support to people living with dementia and their carers.
The dementia care project, which is funded by Shropshire County Primary Care Trust (PCT), provides social care for dementia patients and carers, aiming to enhance their quality of life and reduce unnecessary hospital admissions.
Working in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society, trained Red Cross volunteers can provide short-term support to people who find themselves in a crisis situation. Referrals are made by the Alzheimer’s Society field worker, GPs and other health care professionals.
George Rook, health and social care development manager at the Red Cross, said: “With the right support, people with dementia can continue to live at home for many years. In fact, being able to remain in a familiar environment can often make a real difference. But for this to happen, it’s vital that the right support systems are in place that meet the individual’s needs and those of their carers.”
Volunteers will make home visits for up to six weeks, providing transport and chaperone services to help patients attend GP and hospital appointments and social meetings. They also help with light practical domestic tasks, including shopping and collecting prescriptions, and offer therapeutic care and emotional support for carers.
George explained: “The Red Cross dementia support service aims to support both the patient and their carers through short periods of crisis when they are unable to cope. For example, a carer might be ill or exhausted. A couple of hours break now and then can make a big difference. Our volunteers will also work with the person with dementia, doing things like reminiscence about their early lives.”
Emma Wilde, Alzheimer’s Society field worker for North Shropshire, said: “This is a really valuable service for people diagnosed with dementia and their carers. The British Red Cross volunteers have received Alzheimer’s Society dementia care training which puts them in good stead to support people with they are caring for.”
Helen Swindlehurst, Shropshire County PCT's Commissioner for Partnerships, said, "We are confident this new service will provide excellent support to people with dementia and help enable them to stay in their own homes. We also recognise the importance of supporting carers and families of people with dementia, who we hope will benefit from this new service."
More volunteers are needed to support this service. Candidates need to be compassionate, with a friendly and caring personality. The role requires volunteers to make home visits, giving practical support with light domestic tasks such as shopping and collecting prescriptions and providing emotional support, reassurance and encouragement, and to escort the patient and carer to appointments.
Full training will be provided in dementia care, communications skills, therapeutic care and first aid.
To find out more, please contact the Red Cross on 01743 280073 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors
For more information on the British Red Cross please visit: http://www.redcross.org.uk
The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.
We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.
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