Dementia charity launches council-commissioned short films to help Essex family carers “think differently” and “live better”
In response to an increasing number of people in Essex living with dementia, Essex County Council commissioned specialist charity, Dementia Adventure, to produce a series of short films to support the thousands of family carers in the county.
The four positive and practical films have been released, forming the first part of a three-stage campaign, entitled ‘Thinking Differently About Dementia: Support for Family Carers’.
Based on national indicators, it is estimated that over 23,000 people have dementia in Essex, affecting at least the same number of family carers.
Research conducted by Essex County Council revealed more resources are needed to help family carers access personalised support and cope with the emotional pressures they face as well as improve communication with loved ones and enable them to maintain capabilities, interests and relationships.
Having provided nationwide support to those with dementia and their carers since 2009, Chelmsford-based Dementia Adventure proposed the campaign to offer an online and offline solution. The short films have been produced by, and feature, experts dedicated to supporting people with dementia, providing the much-needed support to family carers, who often take on the role in an unpaid capacity.
Covering topics such as diagnosis, progression, the benefits of positive risk-taking, the dos and don’ts for improved communication, and the importance of getting outdoors, the films ultimately aim to help people and those close to them live better with dementia. Free access is available to anyone with an Essex postcode by visiting Dementia Adventure’s website; www.dementiaadventure.co.uk, or the Council’s Living Well Essex website; www.livingwellessex.org.
Coming soon, the second stage of the ‘Thinking Differently About Dementia: Support for Family Carers’ campaign will consist of a series of scheduled live online family carer webinars, hosted by Dementia Adventure, to offer a more tailored, one-to-one experience for carers and their families. This will be followed by ‘offline’ support, with the launch of family carer workshops held at various venues in Essex, forming the final stage of the campaign.
Simon Thorp, Head of Business Development and Innovation at Dementia Adventure, which hosts subsidised, fully supported dementia holidays and free Family Carers Events offering help and advice across the UK, said: “These innovative films aim to reach as large a number of families affected by dementia in Essex as possible. Family carers so often need positive, practical information but it is hard to find and access. Making these films available online and free of charge to watch whenever viewers choose should help address these issues. Importantly, viewers will also have the option to find out about other support available including face to face events.”
Essex County Council Leader, Cllr David Finch said: “We recognise that dementia is one of the biggest challenges health and social care is facing. We acknowledge that we don’t have all the answers to support carers, which is why we are working in partnership with Dementia Adventure on this project; linking with specialist community spaces to meet the challenges and improve our system. We believe this campaign, using technology to reach people across different mediums, will gift people with the knowledge and skills to remain independent; giving carers more freedom and peace of mind. It is co-produced with people living with, and affected by, dementia, using the voices of peers to give advice, hints and tips because Essex County Council believes in letting our citizens tell us what they need.”
‘Thinking Differently About Dementia: Support for Family Carers’ is a campaign by Dementia Adventure that has been commissioned by Essex County Council. Designed to offer support to family carers living in the county and supporting people living with dementia, the campaign includes:
Four short films – released on 5 August 2019
Family Carer Webinars – Coming soon.
Family Carer Events – Coming soon.