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  • Writer's pictureFiona

Salford University Study of our services & TDS @ Dementia Congress 2022

Conference report by Sally Ferris, CEO



On Wednesday 9 November, Jo and I presented at the UK Dementia Congress - the annual highlight of the dementia practitioners’ world! I had asked to present the findings of the evaluation of our Friendship & Activity Groups and was thrilled that our proposal was accepted.

As a veteran attendee at the conference, I thought that our model of providing weekly groups for people with dementia - with transport included , and prioritising their interests, aspirations and needs - is still quite unusual across the UK. There are other models of service provision such as Dementia Cafés, Meeting Centres, and short-term

interventions using music, dance or exercise. but what the evaluation showed was the benefits for people with dementia attending their own group and building significant friendships.


One reason we like our model is that the many people who live alone, and who are the most socially isolated, don’t miss out. They are enabled to attend because of our reminders and our transport and, when they are there, they don’t feel like second class citizens. They are the VIPs, they aren’t outpaced by carers, and they’re supported by our volunteers to participate fully.



"They are the VIPs, they aren’t outpaced by carers, and they’re supported by our volunteers to participate fully."




The researchers found some lovely examples of people supporting and encouraging each other, lots of fun and laughter, and great person-centred support from our staff.


From their interviews with members they learned that many people with dementia go out very little and have very little to occupy themselves with at home. Despite this they also found that the person with dementia needs to be persuaded to attend at first because of the apathy that has developed as part of the dementia. Once they’ve tried it, the group quickly becomes part of their weekly routine.


Other researchers have done a study that looked at the ‘Social Return on Investment’ of running such peer support groups and found that the overall benefits to the people with dementia, their carers, and to the volunteers who assist at groups, is significant and can produce a gain of over £5 for every £1 spent.


Do read the summary or full report if you are interested


SUMMARY of Salford University EVALUATION of TDS FA Groups
.pdf
Download PDF • 437KB
Salford University EVALUATION of TDS F&A Groups
.pdf
Download PDF • 780KB

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