As part of our remit, we are currently talking to people with Dementia and those who care for them.

We want to know about their experiences and views – both positive and negative – about the services they receive and the gaps that they have identified.  From this feedback, we can build a picture of where services are doing well and where they can be improved.  We can also signpost people to services that they may not already know who can provide the support that they need.

The message that is coming over loud and clear so far is that, although there are many organisations across the county that can help carers, it appears that the quality of services and support from both the statutory and voluntary sectors can be patchy.

Recent comments received include a decrease in the one to one support available to carers and the feeling of complete isolation that many people feel.

We are hearing that carers have to be quite proactive in seeking support and finding out what is available to them whether that is practical help or advice on issues affecting their lives such as financial support.  It is also clear that peer support is very valued amongst carers.

Many people seem to ‘manage as a family’ but acknowledge that this will not be able to continue forever.

Carers who have accessed respite care also speak quite positively around it explaining the benefits for both the carer and cared for. However, a lot of people are unaware of how to access respite support.

We aim to have collated as much information as we can by early in the New Year and then publish a report which we will share with the providers and commissioners of services with recommendations for improvements.

Thank you to everyone who has so far engaged in this work. We do however want to ensure that we have as comprehensive a report as possible so we still want to hear from more local people across Derbyshire who care for someone with dementia.

And please feel free to contact us to find out more about the support services and organisations that are available to carers in Derbyshire or contact Making Space –  Derby and Derbyshire Dementia Support Services at www.makingspace.co.uk

© Healthwatch Derbyshire 2021

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