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22 nd Alzheimer Europe Conference Vienna 2012. What is a Dementia Adviser and what do they do? Jenny La Fontaine Professor Dawn Brooker Jennifer Bray Association for Dementia Studies. Association for Dementia Studies. Aims. Background What does the data tell us about the role?

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22 nd Alzheimer Europe Conference Vienna 2012

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22nd Alzheimer Europe Conference Vienna 2012

What is a Dementia Adviser and what do they do?

Jenny La Fontaine

Professor Dawn Brooker

Jennifer Bray

Association for Dementia Studies

Association for Dementia Studies


  • Background

  • What does the data tell us about the role?

  • How do Dementia Advisers perceive their role and the Knowledge, Skills and Attributes needed to deliver the role

  • Opportunities and challenges in delivering the service, and thoughts for the future

Association for Dementia Studies


  • Department of Health England

  • The Alzheimer’s Society England, NHS Worcestershire and Worcestershire County Council, England

  • The Dementia Advisers, Lorrain Cullen, Patricia Spencer and Rachel Thomson and their Manager Gill Carter

  • The Dementia Adviser Service Implementation Group, including Dawn Brooker, Kathy Dale, David Hitchen, Kumbi Mandinyenya, Carole Edwards and Bernie Coope

  • All participants in the evaluation in particular the people living with dementia and their families and supporters

Association for Dementia Studies


  • Bid for funding for “demonstrator site” submitted to Department of Health England in June 2009

  • Collaborative project between NHS Worcestershire (Primary Care Trust), Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, Joint Commissioning Unit, Alzheimer’s Society England and University of Worcester

  • Two full-time Dementia Advisers (DA), employed by Alzheimer’s Society England, commenced in December 2009 covering 2 localities

  • Working alongside the Early Intervention Dementia Service (EIDS) Worcestershire

Association for Dementia Studies

The Evaluation

  • Compare and contrast the impact and effect of the provision of services following diagnosis with and without a DA

  • Consider the experience of the DA for people living with dementia and their family/ carers

  • Determine the skills, facilitators and barriers to the success of the DA role

  • Enable commissioners to make evidence based decisions regarding the impact of such services and their ongoing financial support

Association for Dementia Studies

Findings from the client records system

Association for Dementia Studies

Who is referred?

  • 329 referrals in total (Jan 2010 – March 2011)

    • 190 for Wyre Forest

    • 139 for Redditch & Bromsgrove

  • Majority of referrals were for carers or family members

    • Not the intended clients

Association for Dementia Studies

Referral source

  • People living with dementia

    • EIDS & CMHT main referral source

  • Carers and family

    • Self referrals as well as EIDS & CMHT

  • Wide range of organisations/groups actively referring to DA service

Association for Dementia Studies

Nature of contact with clients

  • DA requires strong communication skills

  • Phone calls (less than 20 minutes)

    • May be first contact with client

    • Often initiated by client

  • Meetings (around 1 hour)

    • More in-depth knowledge required

Association for Dementia Studies

The breadth of the Dementia Adviser role

  • Provide information on a range of dementia-related topics

    • Medical

    • Social

    • Emotional

    • Financial

    • Legal

  • Broad knowledge

    required by the DA

Association for Dementia Studies


  • DA needs wide knowledge base of services in their area

    • Created a Guidebook of services

    • Suitable services do not always exist

Association for Dementia Studies

Findings from the Qualitative Interviews

Association for Dementia Studies

Alongside through the Journey

Association for Dementia Studies


“You’re picking up on everything when you first meet, meet them anyway. You’re picking up on, you know, are they getting their benefits, their entitlements, have they thought about the future, where are they in their diagnosis. So it was about, you know, how they were feeling and, is there anything they’re struggling with, did they need. So I was trying, you try and pick out what it is you can help with. Are they isolated, are you looking about, you know, is this person going to benefit from some peer support, you know? Are they going to benefit from being more involved, be getting out into the community more? Is it more on a personal level? Coping strategies, is it about the memory?”

Association for Dementia Studies

The Work of the Dementia Adviser

  • Accessing services

  • Advanced planning

  • Information re accessing financial support

  • Information giving, relating to illness and coping

  • Enabling identification of practical solutions

  • Reframing

Association for Dementia Studies

University of Worcester Association for Dementia Studies

What Works?

  • Partnership Working

  • Face to face contact, and continuity

  • Clarity of role (and boundaries of role)

  • Preparation of the area and services

  • Being outside of statutory provision

  • Networking NetworkingNetworkingNetworking

  • Resilience

Association for Dementia Studies

Thank you for Listening!


Photographs of people living with dementia taking part in

The Enriched Opportunities Programme

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