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P-116 Supporting carers during a pandemic – transforming dementia carers’ support
  1. Helen Reeves1,
  2. Gina Gardner1,
  3. Fiona McCracken2,
  4. Asima Hussain2 and
  5. Pat Roberts2
  1. 1St Giles Hospice, Whittington, UK
  2. 2GreenSquare Accord, Walsall, UK


Dementia is a far-reaching disease and it is estimated that approximately 850,000 people are living with dementia in the UK; this is estimated to increase to over 1 million by the year 2025 (Prince, Knapp, Guerchet, et al., 2014).

Caring for people with dementia is demanding and this care is often provided by unpaid carers in the home (National Institute for Health Research, 2016). So often people are uncertain about what the future could hold following diagnosis and how to support a person with dementia. Due to this in 2017, St Giles Hospice in collaboration with Green Square Accord launched a four-week carers’ course which was designed to support unpaid carers in the community who support people living with dementia. The course covers a range of topics, including looking after yourself and activities for people with dementia, eating and drinking and infections in dementia, dementia related behaviours and planning for the future including end-of-life.

Prior to 2020 this four-week course was face-to-face and was group based. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the service had to act quickly to ensure the much-needed support for these carers did not disappear. The carers’ course was adapted to provide support via a one-to-one basis either via video consultation or through a telephone call. This ensured that carers were not isolated and had access to specialist support and signposting to other services. Data captured showed that 100% of participants found that the topics covered were relevant to their situations, 92% of participants found that sessions fulfilled their expectations and that 100% were given opportunity to ask questions. Over 80 carers have been supported through the adaptation of the service so far.

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