Memory matters

What is being done?
Memory Matters South West Community Interest Company is a small social enterprise that provides therapy and training to health and care providers, primarily but not exclusively in Cornwall. The team is made up of health and social care professionals that have experience of working with people with dementia. They also provide a Carers Life Coaching service too, where Carers can talk face to face, on the phone or via Skype. This enables the Carer to stay well and healthy, and offers advice and guidance on how the Carer can better support the person with dementia through activities and approaches to care giving.

New role and function
Through setting up a Community Interest Company, the nurses are free to work in a very person centred way with others – whether Carers, health or social care professionals or organisations. They are able to deliver a flexible, bespoke variety of different training approaches and packages and as they understand how health and social care function, they are aware of some of the issues staff and carers face.

What has been achieved?
They have delivered training in Cognitive Stimulation Therapy to about 180 staff from various professional backgrounds in Cornwall and Somerset, including day care services and Age Concern. More recently they have set up an experiential training programme for care home staff. This training is mostly paperless, and is based on putting the staff in the shoes of the person with dementia, so that they are better able to understand what it is like to have dementia, and what would help the individual. This innovative person centred approach to training takes into account the different levels of ability amongst care home staff, and ensures that those who may not have completed further education are still able to participate and benefit from the programme. It is also linked to Skills for Care objectives.

Other services Memory Matters South West provide:

  • Training for Memory Café Facilitators
  • Moving and handling with Ease (including behaviours that challenge.) – A workshop run by a qualified moving and handling instructor.

Memory Matters South West is in the process of researching the need for volunteer Mentors for all those living with, or affected by Dementia. This service would provide peer support, and encourage effective self-management.

Further information
Kate Smith, RGN, 01208 871683,