ST BARNABAS: New community companions will offer support to those living with dementia

Hugh Lowson
Hugh Lowson
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Last year, as part of the pioneering developments we are making to our hospice care services at St Barnabas House, we introduced a new dementia lead nurse, Aurora Leighton.

As a hospice, our goal is to make all of our services dementia-friendly, and part of Aurora’s role has been to review and adapt our existing services to support people with dementia.

The latest development we have made to better support the patients we care for who are living with dementia has been to expand our community companions programme by introducing dementia companions.

The main aim of the project is to develop a dementia-focused befriending service, based on the existing community companions model, focusing on the importance of therapeutic interventions for people living with dementia.

Dementia companions are volunteers who will receive additional specific training and regular supervision to provide a high quality service.

They will offer 12 weeks of befriending services to patients or carers with moderate to severe cognitive impairment. The project will be lead and delivered by Aurora, supported by Lucy Ashton, our community companions co-ordinator, who will develop training and provide ongoing supervision.

If you would like to find out more about volunteering as a dementia companion, please contact Lucy on volunteers@stbh.org.uk.

Finally, I wanted to wish the best of luck to everyone participating in our off-road cycling event, Hit the Downs MTB, tomorrow, including our director of adult nursing Andy Burt and director of finance Max Caunhye, who is riding on a BMX bike!

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