Dementia charity announces council-funded online webinars for Essex family carers

Dementia charity announces council-funded online webinars for Essex family carers
Dementia Adventure’s Deborah Anderson will be part of the team delivering the webinars for family carers

As part of a three-stage campaign, entitled ‘Thinking Differently About Dementia: Support for Family Carers’, specialist charity Dementia Adventure has announced dates for the first two free online webinars exclusive to Essex residents caring for people with dementia.

Taking place on Thursday 4 December, 1.30pm to 3.30pm and Tuesday 17 December, 1pm to 2.30pm, the live webinars are the first of a series of online events which will be delivered by the charity as part of the campaign, funded by Essex County Council. They follow the release of four positive and practical films in August, featuring tips and advice from Dementia Adventure’s experts on how to think differently and live better with dementia.

The final stage of the ‘Thinking Differently About Dementia’ campaign will see the launch of family carer workshops held at various venues in Essex in 2020.

Deborah Anderson, Project Coordinator for Dementia Adventure, which hosts subsidised, fully supported dementia holidays and free Family Carers Events offering help and advice across the UK, said:

“The idea of this campaign is to give family carers options as to how they access support. Some people prefer face-to-face conversations and others might prefer the convenience of being able to log on from the comfort of their own homes with other family members around them. The short films were a great way to deliver general information on how to live well with dementia, whereas the webinars will offer a more tailored, scenario-based experience.”

Based on national indicators, it is estimated that over 23,000 people have dementia in Essex, affecting at least the same number of family carers.

Research conducted by Essex County Council revealed more resources are needed to help family carers access

“I do understand how tough it is” said Essex County Councillor John Spence in an interview with Dementia Adventure’s Simon Thorp on the difficulties family carers face.

personalised support and cope with the emotional pressures they face. Help is also needed to improve communication with loved ones and enable them to maintain capabilities, interests and relationships.

Having provided nationwide support to those with dementia and their carers since 2009, Chelmsford-based Dementia Adventure proposed the Thinking Differently About Dementia’ campaign to offer an online and offline solution.

Essex County Councillor John Spence, Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Social Care, said:

“This is a council that is determined to think of everything we can do to make the lives of those with dementia, and those who care for them, better. One of the important things you have to think about with carers is they tend to be time-pressed, and actually probably jolly tired. All three elements [of the campaign] have very important roles to play, alongside the ease in which we enable people to get the information and guidance they require.”
He continued by saying “I do understand how tough it is.”

Using scenario-based examples and short video clips, along with featuring questions and answers throughout, the first webinar will explore topics including understanding the common symptoms of dementia, how to continue seeing the person – not the condition, strategies to overcome communication barriers, practical tips to connect with loved ones and the benefits of contact with nature and the outdoors. The second webinar will be entirely Q&A focused for anyone who has further questions after watching the short films or the first webinar.

Upon booking their free space online, family carers are encouraged to raise specific thoughts and questions in advance. These will then be addressed in the webinar, enabling participants to receive advice relevant to them and share experiences with others in a similar position.

Deborah, who will be part of the team delivering the webinars, concluded:

“Our aim is to help people live as well as they can with dementia. You only have one life and that doesn’t change with a diagnosis of dementia.”

Free access to the four short films and upcoming webinars is available to anyone with an Essex postcode. The films can be viewed by visiting the website https://dementiaadventure.co.uk/thinking-differently/. Booking is essential for the online webinars, via https://dementiaadventure.co.uk/what-we-do/training-and-consultancy/free-events/.

Dementia Adventure has just released the dates and locations of their subsidised, fully supported holidays for people with dementia and their partners, family, friends or carers. Full details can be found at https://dementiaadventure.co.uk/what-we-do/holidays-2020/.