This presentation introduces the work of Dementia Support UK, a service funded by Innovate UK and delivered by HammondCare. The care sector has been severely impacted by COVID-19; services feel isolated and routines and taken-for-granted support networks have been interrupted. At this present time, there a risk of reduced quality of care, higher workload for care staff, interruption to support infrastructures, and reduced access to families to support people with dementia. On a personal level, people with dementia have an increased risk of unrecognised pain, delirium, apathy, withdrawal and depression, alongside changed behaviours as a result of the continued dementia trajectory, disrupted routines and the impact of distancing measures.
However, seeing ageing with dementia through the lens of understanding complexity, we believe we can significantly improve wellbeing and quality of life, and reduce the inequalities that people with dementia face within the health and social care system. Dementia Support UK: Connect, Consult (dementiasupportuk.org) is an accessible dementia consultancy service which exists to respond to these issues. It builds a support infrastructure for the care of people with dementia across the care home sector. Using video conferencing, this nonpharmacological and relationship-based model provides care home staff with dedicated one-to-one time with a dementia consultant to better understand the behaviour of the person living with dementia, problem-solve and plan, and build capacity within the sector.