Oldham dementia team shortlisted for prestigious award

Date published: 11 December 2020

An Oldham dementia team has been shortlisted for a major award as they continue to go above and beyond during the pandemic.

The five members of Oldham Dementia Services have been recognised for making themselves available to the people they support 24/7.

The team made the decision to keep their phones switched on throughout evenings and weekends because of the extra strain people living with dementia and their carers are currently under.

Oldham Dementia Service provides practical and emotional support to carers and people living with memory problems through one-to-one support and a number of groups.

Before the pandemic hit, the service ran regular dementia-friendly sessions around the Oldham area, from arts and craft sessions, to walking groups and singing and dancing.

All activity is currently taking place online, including a Tuesday morning exercise class, Wednesday afternoon singing session, a coffee morning and quiz every Friday morning and a weekly disco in the afternoons.

Staff also make daily welfare checks on the people they support, as well as providing advocacy and crisis support. 

A number of electronic tablets have been distributed to people living with dementia and their carers to enable them to take part in online group activities.

The members of the shortlisted team are dementia advisors Alima Sonne, Sophie Ogden and Annette Murray, administrator Nicola Marsh and manager Susan O'Sullivan.

Sharon Fairhurst, regional head of operations, adult health and social care charity Making Space, which operates the service, said: “The Oldham Dementia Service team goes way above and beyond their duties in supporting and caring for the people who use our service.

“They are always on hand to give out advice and signpost to other relevant services, which supports people further and they listen to carers who are having a hard time.

"Their caring personalities shine through in everything they do.

“Since lockdown they have supported carers day and night and over the weekends with telephone calls.

“They have made socially distanced visits so that they can have a face-to-face in-depth conversation when it is needed and supported people in learning to use tablets for virtual groups and one-to-ones.

"They advocated for a lady with a serious health issue who had been turned away from A&E three times and have been attending funerals to support the families of the loved ones who have passed away."

The team will find out whether they have won a Great British Care Award in 2021.

You can contact Oldham Dementia Service by calling 0161 633 2403 or emailing: oldhamdementia@makingspace.co.uk

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