Cardiff Met is set to receive a generous investment from Welsh Government for a new digital service for people with early on-set dementia.
PDR, a design and research centre at Cardiff Metropolitan University has been working with The City of Cardiff Council and Cardiff & The Vale University Health Board to design a new service for people with early on-set dementia and is set to receive £42,000 from Welsh Government which will help launch the ‘Dementia Enablement Service’ in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan this autumn.
The new Enablement Service is proposed for people who have been diagnosed with early on-set dementia and have limited choices of service because of the stage of their dementia.
Paul Thurston, Head of Service Design for PDR, said: “At PDR we have used a service design process to re-design how a critical health and social caste service can be delivered using existing technology in a cost-effective way. The dementia enablement service will provide reminders, video calls and a dementia friendly community’s directory that will help family members provide better support for their loved ones, keeping them independent for longer.”
Part of the service includes a Trip Advisor style database for carers. Dementia friendly services will be updated and maintained by service users, providing reviews and feedback on services that are suitable for use by individuals with dementia.
Paul continued: “It is important in these tough economic times that people with early stages of dementia are able to maintain a high quality of life for as long as possible.
“This new service will provide a valuable link between families of people with dementia in Cardiff and the Vale and experienced social care staff through the digital platform, even for those family members living far away from South Wales. Following the launch this autumn PDR aim to scale the service up to allow for the rest of Wales to access the service.”
Abigail Phillips, Head of the Healthcare Technology Programme for Welsh Government, said: “Welsh Government are pleased to be supporting the development of the Dementia Enablement Service in partnership with PDR. This project will provide a mechanism for patients to live independently and manage the early stages of their condition, in partnership with care providers, which aligns well with the principles of prudent healthcare.”
The project follows Cardiff Council’s proposal to save £50m within the care service. By using the digital enablement service, users can save costs from expensive face-to-face home care and use more efficient digital channels such as email and online video. In addition, by acting early with individuals with early on-set dementia this could reduce the demand on acute and primary health services as well as existing social care.
Cabinet Member for Health, Housing and Wellbeing, Cllr Susan Elsmore said: “I am delighted to see that this important area of partnership development with the University Health Board for benefit of those with early onset dementia, is being recognised and supported by Welsh Government funding. It will build on the Cardiff and Vale Dementia Plan that we launched last summer.
“This highly innovative partnership project is a prime example of our commitment to make a difference, and very much complements the many new initiatives that Cardiff Council is developing to modernise and improve access for vulnerable citizens, including our commitment for Cardiff to be a dementia friendly city.”
The digital enablement service is based on the re-enablement model used by occupational therapists. The service is different from traditional home care as users are encouraged to develop, or re-develop life skills to help them regain confidence to carry out tasks for themselves.
The Dementia enablement service has been developed as part of the SPIDER Project, an Interreg IVB project led by PDR.