The service, ‘A Sense of Me', works in small groups and supports participants to think about and explore how they can live well with dementia, either as a carer or someone who has been diagnosed. The service is supported with funding from the Life Changes Trust with the Trust funded by the Big Lottery Fund.
Initially, the group encourages participants to discuss their own personal goals and explore what is needed to support people to meet these goals. This is the start of building respectful and understanding relationships where everyone feels listened to and understood.
The groups are delivered at a pace dictated by the participants and support comes from the mutual sharing of experiences.
This creates an understanding of everyone’s own and each other’s challenges, which leads to a better understanding of how to live well with dementia and manage health and wellbeing in the future.
Carers and people with dementia are supported within the same group and will also have time apart to fully explore the issues facing them.
We know their time together is highly valued by carers and people with dementia, but experience tells us that the space to reflect and learn with others in a similar situation is also very important.
Group members will also be supported to create their own Wellness Recovery Action Plan or WRAP which is a recognised self-management tool developed to encourage participants to concentrate on what is strong and not what is wrong.
WRAP supports people to understand more about the choices available to them, enabling them to spend time with peers reflecting on the things that matter and think about how to make hopes and dreams a reality through improved wellness and self-awareness.
Who is A Sense of Me for?
- People living with dementia - carers and those with dementia (groups comprise both carers and those with dementia)
- Those who are at the early stages of dementia/ those in the process of being diagnosed
- Those who feel comfortable attending a group within a local community venue
- Those who feel comfortable receiving services
Through understanding and embracing the key concepts of living well with dementia/ wellness in their lives, people are more self-determined and empowered. This supports building and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships.
In developing a WRAP plan and using personal wellness tools, people with dementia/ carers will be helped to stay well and improve their quality of life. They will use these tools when needed, either every day, or when particular feelings/ behaviours are noticed.
WRAP enables people with dementia/ carers to notice when things feel not quite right, and helps them to get back to feeling well; effectively using the tools they have developed.
The facilitation of WRAP as a self-management tool encourages participants to concentrate on what is strong and not what is wrong. It is important that people are reminded of their strengths; the resources that have enabled them to reach this stage in life and the resilience that comes with life experience.
To find out more about joining an ‘A Sense of Me’ group, contact Hazel Whyte.