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For a life worth living

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Session on ‘Alternatives to home’ at first YDUK conference

Young Dementia UK

Best practice and issues around delivering an alternative to living at home will be the topic of a session at YoungDementia UK’s first conference, entitled ‘A life worth living: Young Onset Dementia Services and Support’, on 30th September 2014.

The conference will present services that work well with and for people living with young onset dementia and their families, and will initiate ideas for national changes to achieve together.

The ‘Alternatives to home’ session will be chaired by Director of YDUK Homes, Jane Norman and will include presentations by Chris Roberts from Wales who has been diagnosed with young onset dementia and who lives at home, but who regularly uses the respite care services of a care home. He will share his experience of choosing his own care home, so that when the time comes his family do not need to feel guilty about moving him into a home and he has already had the chance to get to know the home, other residents and the staff.

There will also be a presentation by Angela Raguz, the general manager of Streeton Cottage (part of the Hammond Care, Australia), about their residential care services for people with young onset dementia. Their ethos of supporting residents to stay connected with the local community very much chimes with YoungDementia UK Homes’ ambitions and we are very interested to hear more about how this works in practice.

Dr Sarah Green, owner, and Rob Green, Business Manager of Merevale House in Warwickshire, will share their experience of ensuring that their residents with young onset dementia live well and enjoy a life without barriers.

The presentations will provide the stimulus for a Q and A session facilitated by Colm Cunningham, Associate Professor, University of Salford Institute for Dementia Studies & Director, The Dementia Centre, Hammond Care.

Rachael Litherland of Innovations in Dementia and the Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project will round off the presentations with feedback from the session for people with young onset dementia – posing a challenge for all the delegates.

Jane Norman, Director of YoungDementia UK Homes, said: “I am delighted to be involved in chairing these important presentations by residential care providers and other experts about the challenges of delivering care which fosters choices and active living, rather than a culture of dependency, and how they can be overcome. I think Homes’ will benefit greatly from the insights that they share.”

We will provide a report from the conference summarising some of the key learnings and how they might influence our planned supported living facility in due course.