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Care Home Visits in Northumberland

Our public forum on care home visits in November produced some really interesting and insightful discussion. We talked about how people are keeping in touch with loved ones in care homes during the pandemic, the effect on those in the homes, particularly those with dementia, and the effect on relatives, plus what would help, going forward and throughout the winter to make the situation easier.

Further to the issues raised at the forum, where people told us they were unclear on what care homes can or can’t do in terms of visits, we asked Liz Morgan, Director of Public Health in Northumberland for information. She shared the guidance on visiting that has been sent to every care home in the county, which can be found below.

We are hoping to hold another Zoom forum around these visits in the coming months, and in the meantime please keep sharing your experiences of care home visits.

Tell us your experiences of:

  • Using video calls (FaceTime, Zoom etc.) or telephone calls – does the home support these? How many times a week and how long? Does a member of staff help your loved one with the call?
  • Socially distanced visits – does the home support ‘window’ visits.  How many times a week and how for long?
  • How does the home keep you informed about how your loved one is getting on (apart from necessary issues about their care or health), for example, manager updates, photographs, videos
  • Does the home have a programme of group and one-to-one activities? Has your loved one taken part?
  • Has the home asked you what, within the current restrictions, would make this time easier?
  • What, within the current restrictions, would make it better for you and your love one?
  • When restrictions are eventually eased (not totally lifted) what would help you and your loved one?

Get in touch

Care Home Guidance on visits November 2020

Letter to Care Homes November 2020

Pieces of my Jigsaw Project

Pieces of my Jigsaw is a memory book project from Crackin Toast involving people living with dementia in Northumberland. The project encourages people with dementia to continue telling their stories through conversations, illustrations and song. A short film of the project funded by The Arts Council is being shown venues across the county. It chronicles the project from the initial idea to the presentation of the personalised books and songs.

 

You can see the film, for free, at the following venues:

Wednesday 29 January: The Phoenix Theatre Blyth, 7.00pm

Tuesday 4 February: The Forum Cinema Hexham, 6.30pm

Tuesday 25 February: Cobalt Studios Newcastle, 6.30pm

 

An exhibition of the illustrations, books and pamphlets made during the project will be on display at:

The Forum Cinema Hexham, 2 – 15 January

The Phoenix Theatre Blyth, 30 January – 3 February

The Cloister Porch, Hexham Abbey, 5 February – 10 February

Woodhorn Colliery Museum, Ashington, 15 – 23 February

 

 

 

Magic Memories Dementia Cafe Blyth

Magic Memories Dementia Group Café at Blyth Central Methodist Church Hall, Beaconsfield Street, Blyth

For carers of, and people with memory problems or dementia. Come along for a chat, to pick up information and to enjoy some social time with others in a similar situation to your own where you can share ideas and experiences. There’s no need to book, please just drop in; refreshments will be available.

The café will run fortnightly on Mondays, dates shown below, from 1.00pm to 3.00pm in the Church Hall at Blyth Central Methodist Church.

(Magic Memories Dementia Cafe is independent to any of the church groups or activities)

For further information please contact Kath 07762 743579 or Joanne 07762 403292 or email: magicmemories2018@gmail.com

 

2020 dates – takes place on the following Mondays: 

13 and 27 January

17 and 24 February

9 and 23 March

6 and 23 April

11 May

1, 15 and 29 June

13 and 27 July

10 and 24 August

7 and 21 September

5 and 19 October

2, 16 and 30 November

7 and 14 December

Find more support at our Dementia webpage

Dementia Friends Cramlington

Dementia Friends are helping Cramlington become a dementia friendly town with their Dementia Friends monthly coffee mornings.

During this year’s Dementia Action Week the Cramlington dementia working group and Manor Walks Shopping Centre joined forces and created a Thought Wall. Having reviewed all the comments received the group came up with the idea of a meeting place for carers, support workers, dementia friends and people living with the condition.

Coffee mornings will take place on the first Thursday of every month at Nando’s in Cramlington. It’s a great opportunity to meet people, find support and advice on living with dementia and also to discuss ideas to support the town in becoming dementia friendly.

Dementia Friends are on hand to give information and help suggest other available support services  – these things can make a huge difference when you or someone you know has dementia. The coffee morning aims to provide a safe and supportive place for you to:

  • Discuss your own dementia diagnosis, or someone else’s, and think about what it means for the future.
  • Speak to  Dementia Friends and discuss how to help make Cramlington a dementia friendly town.
  • Meet and learn from other people in similar situations.
  • Keep active, make new friends and feel more confident.

You can join in at Nando’s, Cramlington from 10.00am to12.00pm on the first Thursday of the month and everyone is welcome.

Find out more about support with dementia at our Dementia Page

Dementia report

Are people with dementia getting the right support?

To find out whether people are getting the right dementia support as their condition deteriorates, Healthwatch England reviewed:

  • What over 700 people said about their care
  • Data from 97 councils about whether people’s needs are being assessed and reviewed
Fewer than half of all people with dementia, who use social care, are getting the regular care reviews they are entitled to. Councils must ensure that these reviews are happening in a timely fashion, to meet the requirements of the Care Act 2014 and to make all care plans responsive to people’s changing needs.

Key Findings

  • People don’t always have a clear understanding of the support available to them and how to access care.
  • On average, people wait over two months between requesting support for dementia from the council, to that support being put in place. However by the time that people ask, they are at crisis point.
  • Once people have a care plan, only 45% are reviewed annually.
  • People with dementia are more likely to receive unplanned reviews triggered by an emergency or sudden event than general social care users.
  • 65% of people with dementia who had a review were referred for a full reassessment. However, half of these reassessments led to no change in the level of care and support.
  • One third of people with dementia, using long-term care services did not receive any review, whether planned or unplanned.

 

Morpeth Memory Cafe

Morpeth memory Cafe is held at Morpeth Methodist Church and Centre for the Community. The cafe is for people with memory problems or dementia, and their family and friends. Come along for a chat, to pick up information and to enjoy some social time with others in a similar situation to your own. No need to book,  you can just drop in.

Refreshments will be available.

The café will run on the Thursdays shown below from 10.30am to 12.00pm in the coffee lounge at the Morpeth Methodist Centre, Howard Terrace, Morpeth. For further information please contact the church office on 01670 511078 or e-mail office@morpethmeth.org.

 

Memory Café Dates  June  – December 2019

June 6th and 20th

July 4th and 18th

August 1st and 15th

September 5th and 19th

October 3rd and 17th

November 7th and 21st

December 5th and 19th

 

Cartoon image of patient, carer and care professional

NICE Guide to Dementia – Support after Diagnosis

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has produced a useful guide for people who have received a dementia diagnosis and their families. A diagnosis of dementia may create very mixed emotions. Coming to terms with it, making decisions and planning ahead are all part of living well with dementia. Getting information and support when you need it from people working in health and social care can make a real difference.

Read the NICE Dementia Support Guide

 

 

Group enjoying activities and refreshments

Magic Memories Dementia Group Cafe

This special cafe is for people with memory problems or dementia and their carers. Come along for a chat, to pick up information and to enjoy some social time with others in a similar situation to your own where you can share ideas and experiences.

No need to book, just drop in. Refreshments will be available.

The café will run fortnightly on Mondays on the dates shown below, from 1.00pm to 3.00pm in the Church Hall at Blyth Central Methodist Church, Beaconsfield Street.

Please note that the cafe is independent to any of the church groups or activities. For further information please contact Kath on: 07762 743579 or Joanne on: 07762 403292, or you can email: magicmemories2018@gmail.com.

 

Magic Memories Dementia Café Dates 2019. Open on Mondays

January 14th and 28th

February 11th and 25th

March 11th and 25th

April 8th and 29th

May 13th

June 3rd and 17th

July 1st, 15th and 29th

August 12th

September 9th, 23rd

October 7th and 21st

November 4th and 18th

December 2nd and 16th

Two ladies smiling

Alzheimers UK Hexham drop-ins

Are you worried about your memory? Come and have an informal chat with a dementia adviser at one of the new monthly drop-ins at Cafe @ Burn Lane, from Alzheimers UK. The drop-ins take place on the first Monday of the month, starting 3 December, between 11.00am and 1.00pm.

For more information contact: northumberland@alzheimers.org.uk.

Lady with dementia going shopping

Northumberland Side by Side Service

Alzheimer’s Society’s Side by Side service has a real focus on empowering people affected by dementia. Volunteers support people living with dementia to identify their own personal talents, strengths and capabilities and help them to maintain fulfilling relationships with their peers and the wider community. Volunteers encourage people with dementia to get out and about, be active, retain old activities and take up new interests where possible.

This might be anything from taking part in a local activity and accessing universal services such as public transport, employment agencies to visiting museums, cinemas, pubs, and participating in everyday leisure pursuits.

We know that not every person with dementia will wish to be active within the community, so Side by Side volunteers will also support people with dementia who wish to take part in dementia specific activity/groups or maybe want to engage in hobbies or leisure pursuits in their own home.

The primary aim of Side by Side, however, will remain to encourage and support people with dementia to remain active within their communities.

Our volunteers are fully trained and supported by a Side by Side Coordinator.

 

The outcomes of the Side By Side service are to ensure:

  • People with dementia have more contact and are more integrated with the wider community.
  • People with dementia are involved and engaged in regular community based activity and have access to universal services in their community.
  • People with dementia see an increase in their social networks.
  • More people with dementia are empowered to have a voice as active citizens.
  • There is a wider range of opportunities to engage in community based activity within a local area.

The Northumberland services covers all of the county.

If you would like to access the service or require any further information please contact the Side by Side Coordinators on:

01670 813255 or email sidebysidenorthumberland@alzheimers.org.uk.

Events

Care homes – keeping in touch with loved ones (online forum)

As we enter a further period where visiting relatives in care homes is restricted, we want to hear how this is affecting you and your loved ones. What information have you had about keeping in touch and maintaining communications about care and wellbeing?

We are particularly keen to hear if you managed to be tested and have an ‘in person’ visit during December.

We would like to know your experience of:

  • Using video calls (FaceTime, Zoom etc) or telephone calls. Does the home support these?  How many times a week and how long?  Does a member of staff help your loved one with the call?
  • Socially distanced visits. Does the home support ‘window’ visits.  How many times a week and how long?
  • How does the home keep you informed about how your loved one is getting on (apart from necessary issues about their care or health). Eg manager updates, photographs, videos
  • Does the home have a programme of group and 1 to 1 activities? Has your loved one taken part?
  • Has the home asked you what, within the current restrictions, would make this time easier?
  • What, within the current restrictions, would make it better for you and your love one?
  • When restrictions are eventually eased (not totally lifted) what would help you and your loved one?

The forum will take place via Zoom. Read our guide on how to use Zoom.

If you would like to take part please contact Laura Haugh: laurah@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk, or call 03332 408468.

If you can’t make the forum and would like to tell us your story, or would rather speak to one of our team in confidence please get in touch.

 

Care Homes – keeping in touch with loved ones

People are telling us they are worried about care homes continuing to be closed to nearly all visits.

They understand it is safer for residents and staff and the extra efforts made to maintain the quality of life in the homes.   But after 6 months, people say they can see the effect on their loved ones, and their own, health and wellbeing.

It seems the situation may go on for some time yet.

Sharing good practice could help make this difficult time a bit better.   If your relative, loved one or friend lives in a care home we would like to know what is being done to keep you in touch day to day and on special occasions like birthdays.

We would like to know your experience of:

  • Using video calls (FaceTime, Zoom etc) or telephone calls. Does the home support these?  How many times a week and how long?  Does a member of staff help your loved one with the call?
  • Socially distanced visits. Does the home support ‘window’ visits.  How many times a week and how long?
  • How does the home keep you informed about how your loved one is getting on (apart from necessary issues about their care or health). Eg manager updates, photographs, videos
  • Does the home have a programme of group and 1 to 1 activities? Has your loved one taken part?
  • Has the home asked you what, within the current restrictions, would make this time easier?
  • What, within the current restrictions, would make it better for you and your love one?
  • When restrictions are eventually eased (not totally lifted) what would help you and your loved one?

The forums will take place via Zoom. Read our guide on how to use Zoom.

If you would like to take part please contact Laura Kane: laurak@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk, or call 03332 408468.

If you can’t make the forum and would like to tell us your story, or would rather speak to one of our team in confidence please get in touch.

 

Children and Young People’s Services

Are you a voluntary or community organisation working with young people? If so, we’d like you to join us for an open discussion on children and young peoples services, particularly around mental health services.

The forums will take place via Zoom. Read our guide on how to use Zoom.

If you would like to take part please contact Laura Kane: laurak@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk, or call 03332 408468.

Find out more about our other online forums

 

Cancer services: Join our online forum

If you, or someone close to you, have used cancer services in the last 12 months, we’d love to hear about your experiences at our online forum.

Lead Cancer Nurse, Amanda, from Northumbria Healthcare, and Jo from the Northern Cancer Alliance will be there to answer your questions.

You can join us as a cancer patient or carer or as someone who works with people using cancer services, or just if you have an interest in local services and support.

For those who aren’t able or would rather not attend, questions for Amanda, Jo, or Healthwatch Northumberland can be sent via text to: 07413 385275 anytime before 12 August.

The forums will take place via Zoom. Read our guide on how to use Zoom.

If you would like to take part please contact Laura Kane: laurak@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk, or call 03332 408468.

Find out more about our other online forums

 

Share your experiences – join our online forum

As we will be unable to get out and about across the county to meet with and listen to people for a while, we’re holding some public online forums, and we’d like you to join us. If you are unable to take part but would like to tell us about your experiences of these services, Caroline and Lesley will be available by phone, text and email each Wednesday between 3.00pm and 4.00pm to listen, answer any questions and help with providing information about services.

The forums will take place via Zoom. Read our guide on how to use Zoom.

Whilst some of our forums are on specific issues and services, this one is a chance to tell us about any health or social care service you’ve used in the last 12 months. That could be hospitals, GPs, care homes, NHS 111, mental health services, maternity services or dentists and pharmacies.

If you would like to take part please contact Laura Kane: laurak@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk, or call 03332 408468.

Find out more about our other online forums

 

Mental Health services: Join our online forum

As we will be unable to get out and about across the county to meet with and listen to people for a while, we’re holding some public online forums, and we’d like you to join us. If you are unable to take part but would like to tell us about your experiences of these services, Caroline and Lesley will be available by phone, text and email each Wednesday between 3.00pm and 4.00pm to listen, answer any questions and help with providing information about services.

The forums will take place via Zoom. Read our guide on how to use Zoom.

The subject of this online forum is mental health services, so if you’d like to share your experiences of services in the last 12 months, or those of someone close to you, please join us.

If you would like to take part please contact Laura Kane: laurak@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk, or call 03332 408468.

Find out more about our other online forums

 

Mental Health services: Join our online forum

As we will be unable to get out and about across the county to meet with and listen to people for a while, we’re holding some public online forums, and we’d like you to join us. If you are unable to take part but would like to tell us about your experiences of these services, Caroline and Lesley will be available by phone, text and email each Wednesday between 3.00pm and 4.00pm to listen, answer any questions and help with providing information about services.

The forums will take place via Zoom. Read our guide on how to use Zoom.

The subject of this online forum is mental health services, so if you’d like to share your experiences of services in the last 12 months, or those of someone close to you, please join us.

If you would like to take part please contact Lesley Tweddell, lesleyt@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk, or 07803 427 466.

 

Other online forums:

Wednesday 20 May 2.00pm – 3.00pm: Dementia Services.

Wednesday 27 May 2.00 – 3.00pm: Adult Social Services (to include support to live independently, care homes, learning disability services).

 

Dementia services: Join our online forum

As we will be unable to get out and about across the county to meet with and listen to people for a while, we’re holding some public online forums, and we’d like you to join us. If you are unable to take part but would like to tell us about your experiences of these services, Caroline and Lesley will be available by phone, text and email each Wednesday between 3.00pm and 4.00pm to listen, answer any questions and help with providing information about services.

The forums will take place via Zoom. Read our guide on how to use Zoom.

The subject of this online forum is dementia services, so if you’d like to share your experiences of services in the last 12 months, or those of someone close to you, please join us.

If you would like to take part please contact Lesley Tweddell, lesleyt@healthwatchnorthumberland.co.uk, or 07803 427 466.

 

Coming soon:

Wednesday 27 May 2.00 – 3.00pm: Adult Social Services (to include support to live independently, care homes, learning disability services).

Wednesday 3 June 2.00 – 3.00pm: Mental Health Services.

Become a Dementia Friend

Come along to this free, interactive information session to learn how dementia affects a person and what you can do to make a difference. Become a Dementia Friend and join more than two million others taking action. From being more patient in a shop queue to campaigning for change, every action counts.

Anyone of any age can become a Dementia Friend.

Taking place at:

The Beaumont Hotel, Hexham NE46 3LT

5.15pm (for one hour)

All welcome. Please book in advance by emailing: edward.chivers@alzheimers.org.uk or call or text: 07784 224678.

Community Information Morning Hexham

The next Information Morning is on Thursday 14 November, from 10.30am to 12.30pm. Call in to this free event for a cuppa and slice of cake and discover more about what’s on offer locally. Advice and information about health and wellbeing, local services, social activities and more. There’s so much out there – come along and see what there is for you.