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Advocacy and  dementia

by Ruth Potter in York, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 9th March 2020 we successfully raised £5,075 with 23 supporters in 111 days

We want to support people with dementia, helping them to access the information they need to make important decisons about their future.

by Ruth Potter in York, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

We would be able to have more dedicated staff time for this work.

We want to help...

Our clients are older people who may be isolated in the community. Our 26 volunteers provide a 1 to 1 advocacy support service for older people. The advocacy work of OCAY reduces loneliness and social isolation among older York residents by helping people access information and providing support in trying new ventures. We assist, through advocacy, people who are at risk of not receiving their full entitlement to welfare benefits and falling into poverty. Clients need emotional and practical help. OCAY can provide long term support. We deliver the service using person centred advocacy skills; active listening, empathic support of the client, client leading the advocate to ensure that their voice is heard. The advocates will support clients to find their way through their problem and to reduce the impact on their day to day living. The advocate will, whenever possible, pace the work to meet the need of the client whilst being mindful of any deadlines that need to be met. Our strategic plan identifies a new area of work that we want to develop, advocacy for people with dementia and other cognitive impairment. 

Our idea.....

We have consulted with Dementia groups in York, particularly a York-based group led by people living with dementia and we have identified a gap in services for older people who have received a diagnosis of dementia and still have capacity to make their wishes known but do not have family and friends who can support them. Currently there is no dedicated advocacy support for these people. The advocacy that OCAY could provide would signpost services that are available to help people with dementia, provide advocacy support with accessing these services and making preparations for the time when the client has lost capacity to make decision. An advocate would be able to work with the client, getting to know them and supporting them and their family with their preparations. This enables a trusting relationship to develop so that when capacity is lost we can still help because we will know that person.

We also....

OCAY also holds regular drop ins in venues around the city. This enables older people to access the service near where they live. We hold iPad cafes so that people can access online information about low cost or free local activities. 

How we know our impact....

OCAY listens to and responds to our clients. When a case closes we undertake a feedback survey. This gives clients a voice in the development of the organization as the information gained is used to improve our service to clients. In 2018/19, 96% told us we improved their confidence, 98% stated that we helped them to remain living independently and 98% felt better for having worked with us.

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