Activity: Academic Talks or Presentations › Oral presentation › Research
Based on the findings of some work undertaken by the Dementia Research network (DRN) at the University of Northampton (UK), it has been identified that individuals with young onset dementia and their carers wish to be actively supported in re-building normal social networks following initial diagnosis, while receiving timely and appropriate access to formal integrated care pathways. This presentation will present the development of The Forget-me-nots Social group, a specific tailor-made community-based social intervention, which is designed to promote normalisation and social connectedness. Led by Dr Jacqueline Parkes, an experienced mental health nurse, the members of the DRN, together with the Alzheimer’s Society Northamptonshire, jointly identified the apparent need for a community-based social support group for people with young onset dementia (aged < 65) and their primary carers in the region, and agreed to undertake a survey to investigate the viability of such a group. There was overwhelming acknowledgement and support for the development of such a unique group within the region. Based on the findings of the survey, and some supportive individual qualitative interviews, and the willingness of both the Alzheimer’s Society and the School of Health at the University to support the proposal with both staff resources and some initial financial assistance, the social group began in July 2013. The aim of ‘The Forget-me-nots’ is to provide a safe and non-judgmental environment where younger people with dementia and their carers can meet, talk, have fun, arrange events and if they wish to, share ideas and discuss issues which are currently affecting them. This is a new group which will be developed by its members for its members. This presentation will summarise the findings of the initial survey and supportive qualitative interviews, the development of the social group and the outcomes of an evaluation to ascertain the group’s effectiveness.