DISC Dementia information and support for carers
The Disc Service was launched 11 years ago, it is hosted by Sandwell Crossroads and funded by Sandwell and West Birmingham, Cross City, South Central CCG’s, and Birmingham City Council through the Birmingham Bettercare Fund
The service originally operated in West Birmingham, but had funding extended to cover the entire Birmingham City Council area.
The service is focused on supporting carers from the diverse communities in the Birmingham area. The DISC service prides itself on being proactive in recruiting staff from local black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities who have both the language skills and understand the cultural sensitivities.
The service supports over 400 carers and offers Iiformation, advocacy and support for carers, though one-to-one contact and successful weekly information and support groups.
It also offers a signposting and referral service into other local statutory and voluntary sector services.
Examples of the type of help and support carers have receive:
- Accessing respite
- Liaising with district nurses, occupational therapists and social workers.
- Continence advice and support.
- Advice in managing changing and unusual behaviours.
- Finding the right care such as day centres, care homes and care agencies.
- Talking to the wider family.
- Advice on benefits and carers' rights.
- Information on the Mental Capacity Act.
- Information on lasting power of attorney
- Building relationships with carers over a long period of time.
- Stepping in to offer support before a crisis develops.
- Bridging the gap between clinical diagnosis and families coping alone.
- Making carers feel welcome – 14 of them formally volunteer in supporting other carers.
- Being led by carers, listening to carers and developing services to meet need.
- Feeling passionate about the service.