Specialist care services

Physical disability

The support you require if you have a physical disability must be tailored to your specific needs and can be provided by the independent and not for profit sectors as well as by Adult Social Care. Help at home with personal care is available according to need, during the day and night, 7 days a week. There are also private agencies offering help at home with personal care and housework.

Services from Adult Social Care include: occupational and paediatric occupational therapists; help with adapting your home; the ‘Handyperson Scheme’; activities within the community; help at home, with meals and leaving hospital; respite care; supported housing, and help for carers.

In Dorset, the Handy Person Scheme will be provided under new contracts which are integrated with Home Improvement and Housing Options for Older People (HOOPS) services.

West Dorset District Council Care and Repair will provide a Home Improvement Agency/ Handyperson/HOOPS service for the West Dorset District Council area. Telephone: 01305 252405 for further information.

Anchor Staying Put will provide a Home Improvement Agency/Handyperson/HOOPS service for the other five District/Borough Council areas in Dorset. Telephone: 01305 785340.

In Bournemouth and Poole, East Boro Housing Trust provides a Handy Van service providing general household and specials repair services for people who need support to live independently in their own home – discussed on page 29. To find out more telephone 01202 883503.

If Adult Social Care arranges a care home placement for you, you should check a number of issues. What choices of home do you have and is this restricted by the amount of care you need? Is the provision in accordance with Care Quality Commission’s standards? Does the staff team in the home have good links with the local Physical Disability Care Management Team?

Learning disability

Learning disability services are run by a partnership between Adult Social Care and the NHS. Community learning disability teams are the first point of contact for advice, information and guidance on services for people with a learning disability. You can contact them through your local Adult Social Care office, listed on page 4. You can also ask your local office for copies of factsheets which tell you more about day care services, care home provision and services for carers available locally.

Adult Social Care provides care where necessary and gives support to enable and encourage service users to reach their full potential in all areas of their lives. Access to services is via an assessment, explained further on page 7.

People with learning disabilities can also use a Personal Budget (explained on page 8), which puts people at the centre of how they choose to pay for their support. This may be in their own flat or house or a supported living scheme.

Mental health

Your local Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) should be your first point of contact if you have mental health issues. You can ask your GP to refer you or ask someone who knows you to contact the CMHT on your behalf. The team will discuss your housing choices with you.

If you have mental health needs, residential care can help improve the quality of your life – the structured environment and activities provided can build up your confidence. The care providers should assess you carefully to make sure the placement is right for you. A qualified member of the residential care staff may visit you at home, talk to you and look at your assessments of health/social care need.

To find out more about mental health care in your region, organise visits to prospective care homes. Ask the residents about the care they receive. Are psychiatric nurses available if needed? Do the activities provided assist rehabilitation? What are the attitudes to medication and other therapies?

Dementia care

Usually, the initial point of contact to access care services is either your GP (for health care solutions) or your local Adult Social Care office (for most other services). Your GP, as well as discussing your concerns, will be able to carry out a series of tests which will establish the nature of your condition and advise whether treatment is possible.

Some forms of dementia are not permanent and can be caused by a range of emotional, physiological and physical ailments, which bring on dementia-like symptoms. It is important that any diagnosis eliminates the possibility of a reversible dementia before a medical prognosis is made. Following a diagnosis of dementia, your GP may refer you to a specialist like a consultant in old age psychiatry, a community psychiatric nurse or an occupational therapist with a special interest in dementia care.

Support in the community
As it can be best for the person with dementia to stay in their own home for as long as possible, a range of adult social care services is available to facilitate this. For example, they may provide access to: home care (discussed on page 18); meals in the home; sitting services (which provide a break for any carer); advice on equipment and adaptations (covered on page 12); day care centres (see page 29) and respite care (explained on page 29).

These services can be provided directly by registered providers to those who are not eligible for Adult Social Care financial help, however Adult Social Care will still be willing to offer an assessment of need. You may have a choice of which agency you receive your care from whether or not Adult Social Care assists with the funding of your service.

People are entitled to receive an assessment of their care needs and if eligible Adult Social Care may fund services to meet these care needs or provide a Direct Payment so that people can arrange their own care services in the way that best suits them.

The Department of Health has published a five year Dementia Strategy which aims to transform the lives of millions of people with dementia and their carers. Health and Adult Social Care organisations are working together across Bournemouth, Poole and Dorset to implement the requirements of the Dementia Strategy and to ensure that people living with dementia have access to good quality care services. The Dementia Strategy identifies how crucial it is for people who may be experiencing the early symptoms of dementia to be able to access good quality advice and support and receive a diagnosis as to whether in fact they have a dementia illness.

Alternatively people may want to initially access one of the memory clinics or Dementia Cafés that are run by the Alzheimer’s Society, details of these can be obtained from the Alzheimer’s Society national helpline on 0300 222 1122 or the local office on 01202 716393. Information about services provided by the Alzheimer’s Society is also available on its website www.alzheimers.org.uk.

Memory cafés

Memory cafés are, first and foremost, a setting in which people with memory loss can share fun and laughter with their care partners and friends in a setting free from awkwardness and stigma. They are also a setting where accurate information about resources is available and relationships with persons in similar circumstances are formed. They are a vehicle for bringing dementia ‘out of the closet’ and into the heart of the community.

Bournemouth
Forget-me-not Coffee Morning
Ludo Lounge, 34 Southbourne Grove BH6 3RA
Contact: Alzheimer’s Society
Tel: 01202 716393

Westbourne Memory Café
Westcliff Baptist Church, Poole Road BH4 9DN
Contact: Alzheimer’s Society Tel: 01202 716393

Bournemouth and Poole
Hinchcliffe Close, Hamworthy BH15 4DY
Contact: Memory Support Team
Tel: 01202 307692

Memoirs Memory Café
St Walburga’s Church Hall,
2A Archway Road, Branksome BH4 9AZ
Contact: Alzheimer’s Society
Tel: 01202 309084

Memory Cafés run by Dorset University NHS Foundation Trust in Bournemouth and Poole
14 Vale Road, Bournemouth BH1 3SY
Contact: Memory Support Team
Tel: 01202 307692

Simmonds Close, Wimborne Road, Poole, BH15 3EB
Contact: Memory Support Team
Tel: 01202 307692

Wimborne

Wimborne Memory Café
Resource Centre, King Street, Wimborne BH21 1EB
Contact: Alzheimer’s Society
Tel: 01202 716393

Residential dementia care
If the time comes when remaining at home is no longer viable, the benefits of residential care need considering. Questions to ask of any home registered for someone with dementia would include: who is the senior clinician who can act as a single point of contact for people to approach for information and advice? What training programmes do staff participate in? Does the home offer a person-centred approach to their care planning? Is the home designed with the needs of its clients in mind, especially safety and accessibility? Is there plenty of natural light? Is moving around helped by easily-understood signage? How is technology employed to help alleviate falls and help orientation? Please also see the care homes checklist on page 41 and the residential dementia care checklist on page 37.

Differentiating one home from another can be difficult, but the quality and quantity of staff training is especially important, along with the turnover of staff, as continuity of relationships in this type of home is critical.

The use of medication is a highly emotive subject and any antipsychotic medication must be very carefully prescribed. A fine balance exists between ‘acting in the best interests of the individual’ by prescribing medicine and the benefits of ‘normalisation’ where time and energy are spent maintaining familiar, comfortable surroundings which help reduce stress and possibly avoid the need for certain medication.