July 19th, 2013
Our Plan, a new resource developed by carers to help people living with dementia make choices about their care, was launched at the Action for Carers Surrey South West Carers’ Forum at Farnham Maltings on Wednesday 17 July.
Carer Dr Sue Tresman, who looked after her father during his journey through the stages of dementia and now looks after her elderly mother, told carers and professionals at the Forum how she initiated the Our Plan project in conjunction with carer support groups across Surrey following her father’s death last year.
Our Plan, available as a printed booklet or downloadable online offers a 6-point pathway to help people in the early stages of dementia and their family and carers understand what dementia is, the treatments available and how to express and record their wishes once they are no longer in a position to make decisions.
It contains clear information plus the relevant forms to enable a record of the patient’s wishes to be made well in advance. There is also a section aimed at professionals who work with those with dementia, outlining what should be at the heart of good practice.
Dr Tresman, Chair of Dementia Friendly Surrey and a Trustee of Action for Carers Surrey, told the Forum that as he approached the end of his life, her father had been fortunate to have a service which allowed him to remain where he was without disruption in his final days but she was aware that this was not always the case. Many vulnerable people with dementia had little control over their treatment or care, she said.
“We felt it was important to build a response to support people with dementia so that so their wishes can be written down while they have the mental capacity to say what they are so that they can be referred to when they can no longer articulate them. We also wanted to provide Carers with information , signposting and relevant documents to support them on the journey they make in support of the person they care for.”
Our Plan is being distributed to GP surgeries and Carers’ Support Schemes throughout Surrey and can be downloaded here.
Click here to see a video of the keynote speakers and images taken at the SW Carers' Forum.