The Stockport Young Onset Dementia Team enables people under the age of 65 with dementia to enjoy life, stay active and support each other in living well with dementia.
It was set up after ongoing consultations with younger people with dementia and their families in the Stockport area. We decided to form a separate team out of existing Older Adult Community Mental Health Team staff that had experience and an interest in working with younger people with a dementia. This consists of a dedicated amount of time from a Consultant Psychiatrist, a Nurse, a social worker and an Occupational Therapist.
We managed to get funding for one new post so created the position of Young Onset Social Inclusion Support Worker, known as a YOSI Worker. This was in response to requests from our younger people with dementia and their families that they wanted a service based around activities in their local communities and individualised support.
The service offers multidisciplinary assessment and treatment for people under the age of 65 with a progressive dementia and their families. The aim of the service is to maintain the skills and activities of the person with dementia in their local area. Many interventions are built around individual and small group activities in the community with our Young Onset Social Inclusion Support Worker.
When people are felt be losing their skills and confidence in taking part in activities, the YOSI will help to engage them in whatever activities they would like to do in their local area. When appropriate, this role can then be passed on to a family member, friend or a personal assistant. Examples of activities that people have become involved in are joining a local gym, T’ai chi classes, art classes, swimming, tennis, dog walking and football. In addition to the benefit this has for the individual, it means that through the guidance and advice of the YOSI worker, the staff and users of these activities are more aware of the needs of a person with dementia.
Small group community activities include a weekly swimming group, an allotment group that runs weekly in the growing season and a monthly walking group.
YODEL (Young Onset Dementia Enjoying Life) is our monthly drop in group. It is a joint project between our service and a local church. It is planned and run by its members and welcomes all people with a young onset dementia and their friends and families. Members are also actively involved in fundraising for the group.
Whilst not specifically for younger people, many of our younger people also gain benefit from attendance at the In 2 minds post diagnostic support group. This group runs for five x two hour sessions and is for the person newly diagnosed with dementia and a family member or friend. The group aims to give all the information that is needed for the person to understand their diagnosis and live well with their dementia.
EDUCATE (Early Dementia Users Cooperative Aiming To Educate) is an innovative Stockport-based project where people of any age with a dementia educate others about how to live well with the condition. This involves talking to individuals or groups ranging from members of the public to GPs and Service commissioners about their personal experiences. Full support is given in getting involved in the project and Educators have ideally attended the In 2 minds course. Many of our younger people are Educators and feel that this gives them a real purpose and role.
The Stockport Young Onset Dementia Team is based at the Meadows, Owens Farm Drive, Offerton, Stockport, SK2 5EQ. It is part of the Older Adult Mental Health Community Services of Pennine Care NHS Trust.
For more information about the service, please contact team manager, Ruth Chaplin Tel 0161 716 4505 or via email.