People affected by dementia have helped us develop a new online tool to help others find the information and support they’re looking for.
Dementia Connect is a service from Alzheimer’s Society that provides people affected by dementia with the support they need, when they need it, by phone, online and face to face.
The newest aspect of Dementia Connect is tailored online support, available 24 hours a day.
You answer a few simple questions about yourself – or someone you know – to get personalised, relevant information and advice, including the option to request a call from one of our dementia advisers.
Useful and meaningful
We’ve done a huge amount of testing and research to ensure the new online service is the best it can be.
‘We want Dementia Connect to deliver results that are useful and meaningful for people affected by dementia,’ says Rik.
In addition to surveys and workshops, we’ve held many sessions where people tried out the service to see how well it worked for them.
‘We want Dementia Connect to deliver results that are useful and meaningful for people affected by dementia,’ says Rik Williams, who led the testing of the service.
Rik worked closely with colleagues to pinpoint what combinations of helpful information, practical advice and real-life stories would be useful for people in different situations.
The testing involved people with dementia, carers, people worried about their memory and people with accessibility needs, such as with their vision.
‘It brought up some themes, such as how much the service could ask of someone who has memory problems and is having to hold the task together in their mind,’ says Rik.
‘We also addressed problems with the order of information. For example, we moved the request for a person’s telephone number to the start of the process, so if they drifted off the website, we could phone them back later.’
Strategies and solutions
Coral Sutherland, whose mother has Alzheimer’s, helped test the new service. She gave feedback on how easy and clear it was to use, whether pages and options appeared in the order in which she expected, and how it all looked.
‘I welcomed the chance to be involved in something that’s close to my heart,’ she says.
We’ll be regularly improving Dementia Connect online to make sure that it works for anyone affected by dementia. Coral can already see the service being of huge benefit.
‘The website’s questions may also be the catalyst for opening the user’s horizons to strategies and solutions,’ says Coral.
‘It’s great!’ says Coral. ‘By asking about the user’s situation, the right support and information is ascertained for them.
‘The website’s questions may also be the catalyst for opening the user’s horizons to strategies and solutions, of which they previously had no knowledge or time to research, contemplate or follow up on.’
Another of the testers, Connie, who has dementia, was made to feel that her contribution was ‘valid and worthwhile’.
‘The team certainly seem to have discovered something that will benefit everyone who has this debilitating disease,’ she says.
‘I thank them all for sharing their time and expertise to help. It gives me the heart to carry on!’
Dementia Connect is new, and parts of the service may not be available in your area just yet. Either way, find out how we could help you.