Written by PraxisAdmin

Charity Sector can help fill the gap in dementia care in Northern Ireland

Nevin Ringland, Chief Executive, Praxis Care

4th February 2010

In light of the latest estimates of the growth in demand for dementia care, and the lack of resources currently available,
Nevin Ringland, Chief Executive of Praxis Care believes that the NHS must recognise the benefits both in cost (up to 30% saving) and quality care provision that can be achieved when services are provided by the Charity Sector. The saving can then be reinvested to provide more care.

Mr Ringland said
‘The Charity Sector is renowned for being innovative and introducing the latest research-based best practice types of care and support to Northern Ireland. The Charity Sector is keen to work with the Minister for Health, Michael McGimpsey to develop these services’

This approach is strongly supported by government at Westminster but there seems to be a reluctance to roll it out in Northern Ireland. A report by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform highlighted the need for an economy model where public, private and charity sectors compete to provide the best service. Indeed a Cabinet Office paper said ‘We (in government) positively encourage the involvement of the charity sector in the design and delivery of public services’.

The Praxis Care facility at St Paul’s Court Lisburn is a great example of best practice in caring for those living with dementia. There are fifteen two-bedroom bungalows in a gated community setting. Individuals are free to walk in a safe environment and with the knowledge that staff are on site 24 hours per day. The service user can have their spouse or relative living with them permanently in the two-bedroom bungalow, thus avoiding separation from loved ones. The individual can bring many of their belongings and memorabilia with them just when they need to have the security of familiar things around them.

Case History:

Joan Baird is living with dementia and shares a bungalow at St Paul’s Court with her husband Jim. Below is Jim’s story:

“Joan and I are 19 years retired. –  I used to work as a civil servant and Joan worked in a local factory in Lisburn.

We have lived all our lives in Lisburn.

After an angina attack, six years ago, Joan had to go to hospital and at that time was diagnosed with dementia.

Whilst in hospital it was recommended that she should go into a nursing home. However myself and my family here very keen to stay at home. She returned to our home and was looked after by myself and my family along with local carers.

After a case conference it was recommended that Joan should move into a home on a permanent basis.

My son had heard of St Paul’s Court and he recommended that we should consider moving in.

After a visit we agreed to move in as a couple

We have been in St Paul’s now for two years and have settled in well

Joan has a carer who comes in every morning to help her get ready

This is really important as it gives me a chance to go for a walk and get some exercise.

During the day we can come and go as we please and every evening Joan calls over to the main centre for the supper club.

Also once a week a carer comes in to look after Joan and I can go out to play some snooker.

We would love to stay living in our own home but the nature of the dementia means Joan requires day to day support.

More than anything else what St Paul’s offers is peace of mind for me and my family. They know that that Joan and I are living in a safe and supported home instead of being separated with Joan in a Nursing Home without me”.

This example of Jim and Joan demonstrates how two separate Government Departments have pooled resources to ensure that a husband and wife are not separated when one requires Nursing Home care.  This is an innovative project which solves a very distressing problem in a very human way.

For further information contact:

Nevin Ringland, Chief Executive, Praxis Care
Paul Collins, Asst Director, Praxis Care
02890 234555

Issued by Archer Communications on behalf of Praxis Care
Contact Alan Morton, Director
02890 43411

Note to editors:

Photos available:
Joan and Jim Baird
Nevin Ringland (Chief Executive, Praxis Care)

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