​​Dementia Support​

Working closely with the Alzheimer's Society, the Sutton Vanguard have identified the need to develop a package of support to assist care home staff in providing the best level of care for residents who are living with dementia and for residents and families at the time of diagnosis.

The Dementia Assessment Referral Tool (DeAR-GP tool) is designed to help care workers to first identify residents who may be showing signs of dementia.  If the tool flags that a resident is showing signs of dementia, they'll be referred to their GP for a more formal diagnosis. This will help the care home seek and access appropriate services to support the resident and give care workers a better understanding of the residents' health needs.

A Liaison Nurse from the community support team has delivered training of the DeAR-GP tool to staff in all nursing and residential homes, and this training will in turn be passed on to all new staff.

The tool was developed by the Health Innovation Network.  More information can be found here.  

Dementia Support Workers form part of the Care Home Support Team for nursing and residential care homes in Sutton. These roles have been introduced to provide support, information and guidance to people with dementia and their carers, identify their needs and help them to access relevant services.  

An initial scoping exercise revealed there was a variation in care homes approach to dementia care, and so support would need to be tailored for the care home. In response to this the Dementia Support Workers developed information packs which included a selection of factsheets on practical and legal matters related to dementia, an example of a reminiscence newsletter, guidance on creating dementia friendly environments and contact details of helplines.  These were delivered alongside training sessions for care home staff  based around a film called Barbara’s Story, created by Guys and St Thomas’, a resource aimed at developing better understanding of dementia and therefore building confidence in delivering strategies to support people living with this disease. 

Further support comes in the form of environmental assessments and, where required, individual assessments and support plans.