A Leadership Exchange on Innovation in Dementia Community Support

On 26th  September Age NI were delighted to welcome stakeholders to a special event in the Europa Hotel - My Life My Way, A Leadership Exchange on Innovation in Dementia Community Support.

The event brought together stakeholders involved in developing, supporting and delivering Age NI’s My Life My Way service, including representatives from the National Lottery Community Fund, the Northern and Belfast Health Trusts, as well as staff, volunteers and leaders in dementia care.

Age NI were also delighted to welcome Permanent Secretary of the Department of Health, Richard Pengelly and Chief Nursing Officer, Charlotte McArdle.

The event recognised and celebrated the impact of the My Life My Way service for people with dementia, and their carers, as well as highlighting opportunities to improve dementia services for people in Northern Ireland.

Attendees heard from a range of speakers including Mary Marshall, OBE, Emeritus Professor, Dr Julie Christie, Hammond Care, Angela Hodkinson, Social Change Initiative and Sandra McNamee, National Lottery Community Fund.

My Life My Way impact

In 2014, Age NI’s My Life My Way service was established, thanks to a £600,000 grant from the National Lottery Community Fund, to offer practical and emotional support to older people living with dementia and their carers.

To date, the service has been hugely successful, supporting 1,000+ people with dementia to live independently and stay connected to their community. This support has been delivered through 15,000 interventions with 2593 signposts to other support services. In addition, the programme has also recruited 129 volunteers, to support people living with dementia, and provide respite for carers and families.

Some of the reported benefits to people living with dementia and carers include: reduced loneliness (84%); increased confidence (91%); support to live in chosen setting (100%); plus increased volunteer wellbeing (95%).

Delegates also heard from Kay and Campbell, who’ve been supported by the My Life My Way service. Kay said:

“When Campbell was diagnosed with dementia, we thought it was the end. But thanks to support from My Life My Way, and our Community Navigator Aimee, we feel secure. I can talk to her about anything, and it really helps us a lot. We would have been totally lost without My Life My Way.”

Adding value to communities

In addition, thanks to an evaluation by Hammond Care, evidence demonstrates the social value created for every pound £1 of investment is £1: £5.49 in added value to the community. This does not include the £500k extra benefits identified for people with dementia and carers through Age NI’s Advice and advocacy Service.

For more information on the My Life My Way service, click here.