What was the issue you were addressing or working on?
Town Break understands the importance of maintaining social relationships, creating new peer support networks and receiving information and advice at an early stage after the diagnosis of dementia. The negative effects of social isolation can be profound for both the person with dementia and their carer, as both may withdraw from previous activities and social connections.
What you did?
The Red Cross Neighbourhood Links and Buddies service supports individuals to develop and maximise their own resources and assets and combine these with support services from a number of statutory and non-statutory services; co-producing services packages which sustain the individual to live as independent a live as possible.
As such it is entirely in keeping with the philosophies on which Reshaping Care for Older People, Self Directed Care, co-production and the assets based approach are based on.
What were the outcomes - benefits or otherwise?
An assessment of the services carried out on activity between June – October, 2012 showed that:
- 44 patients were transported using the service
- Destinations covered the whole Borders area
- The cost of running the service was:
- Volunteer time – 162 hours
- 1600 miles
- Total cost of this activity (volunteer hours and mileage) – £1800
- Number of bed days saved under early and safe discharge: 36
- Estimated saving working on £300 per bed day = £10,800
- 38 follow up telephone calls were made by the Neighbourhood Links workers with 25% of patients contacted identified as being socially isolated and requesting further input via the Buddy services to help them build levels of confidence, reduce social isolation and enabling a return to independent living (e.g. transport for shopping, attending follow up appointments, re-joining social circles).
Contacts - to find out more
Lynda Hutton, Befriending Co-ordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org