The Mental Health Foundation have recently launched a range of information materials produced by Dementia Choices (www.mentalhealth.org.uk/dementiachoices), a two year, Department of Health funded project that began in 2009. The project focused on the impact of personalisation in social care for people with dementia, their families and friends, and social care professionals and other staff who work with them.
The information produced by the project includes:
- Dementia and Self Directed Support postcard: information for people with dementia and family carers about what self-directed support is and where you can find further support and information
- Dementia and Self Directed Support leaflet: more detailed information for people with dementia and family carers about what self-directed support is, how people can get it and where you can find further support and information
- Personalisation and Dementia, a resource for trainers: a half day training module for trainers training staff who work with people with dementia
- Personalisation and Dementia, a practitioner’s guide: a question and answer booklet, with common questions and appropriate responses for social acre practitioners so they can confidently discuss this with people living with dementia and family carers
Self-directed support is a new way for people to regain and remain in control of their lives. Self-directed support, including direct payments and individual budgets, enables people living with dementia (and their carers) to have more freedom and choice about the social care services they receive.
Four pilot sites were involved throughout this project and aimed to explore and promote what people living with dementia might want from self-directed support and what kind of information they need.
The project found that there was a very low level of awareness and understanding of self-directed support among people living with dementia and their family carers. It also found that a wide variety of social care workers at a local level needed practical information about how self-directed support can work for people living with dementia. The awareness raising materials produced by the project aim to help all practitioners (not just those in local social care services) understand self-directed support and can confidently discuss it with people living with dementia and their family carers.