It became apparent early in the crisis that carers of those living with dementia were going to have a challenging journey ahead.  Normal routines disrupted, day centres closed and face to face support not being available would all likely lead to crisis for our families.  So as a team we sat down and thought how can we carry on through this and offer something to help alleviate this pressure?

We started by ringing every person within our CARIAD Service offering a listening ear and safe place to chat and discuss worries and concerns.  This has been the foundation on which our service has run.

We are able to offer some support in the form of a sitting service where families are finding the situation particularly challenging yet this has been very limited – one to keep our families and colleagues’ safe and two to stop the potential spread of the virus.  We have worked closely and relied heavily upon our statutory partners in the memory service and social services to pick up crisis management if needed as well.

Then lastly we decided that we would get on board with zoom!  A scary prospect not just for those living with dementia and their carers but us too!  What if our internet brakes?  What if we hadn’t given the right joining details?  What if everyone hates it?  What if?  What if?  What if?  This is how it feels to be pushed out of our comfort zone and boy did we feel it!

I set up my work from home station with my iPad (donated by Family Vision) and waited….

I am pleased to report that the internet did not break, we had provided the joining details and people did log in!!  Hooray!!

The first one was a success, it was so lovely to see everyone and for them all to see each other.  Due to the success of the first one we have continued doing them weekly, holding quizzes, bingo and even play your cards right!!  It has been an excellent way to keep carers and patients connected and for us all to stay positive and have some fun.

The new normal is starting to settle here at the CARIAD Service and we will continue to do our upmost to support our carers and patients in the best possible way and if that means we look at new, exciting and innovative ways to do it… then count us in!!

We would like to say a massive thank you to our carers, we know this is a very difficult and challenging time for you all.  However you continue to look after your loved one in the best possible way.