Get There Together: a resource to support the people of Wales to access their communities safely

Dr Natalie Elliott, National Consultant Allied Health Professional Lead for Dementia


Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

This is a National project with multiple partners across Wales.

Click the video below to find out more.


Background

Alzheimer’s Society reported that nearly half (46%) of people living with dementia state that the pandemic has had a negative impact on their mental health, with over 1 in 3 reporting having lost confidence in going out and carrying out daily tasks.

In response to research revealing the challenges that COVID-19 presents people living with dementia, the Get There Together project has created a series of encouraging videos.

“Get There Together is a national project supporting people living with dementia to adjust to changes in their surroundings due to COVID-19 restrictions. We’ve created the films as ‘digital stories’ to reassure anyone who is apprehensive about getting back out into their communities. The films aim to lessen anxiety and reduce isolation as restrictions ease.”

Dr Natalie Elliott, Project Lead and National Consultant AHP Lead for Dementia


The films are also available in leaflet format printed in English and Welsh.


Use the following links to view the video resources in English or Welsh.

Key Outcomes

"The Get There Together resources are a much-needed helping hand to guide us with familiarity and clarity of surroundings and environments that are part of our daily lives. Many of us have been isolated and impacted by the pandemic, with a loss of routine and connection, and Get There Together provides us with insight and increased motivation to re-engage into community life.”

Carer Ceri Higgins is a member of Lleisiau Dementia,

an independent group led by people living with dementia and carers,

giving a voice to people living with dementia in Wales.


“This has been a fantastic opportunity to ensure that we support those living with dementia and their carers in Gwent. I feel privileged to be part of a project that has involved meaningful partnership working with various sectors and carers from the outset. Led proficiently by the Policy and Project Officer, Natasha Harris, all partners in Gwent were enabled to fully embrace this initiative, engage with ongoing dialogue, be involved in joint decision making which in turn led to a commitment to create, innovate and improve service provision.”

Naheed Ashraf, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board


“There has always been a fundamental link between housing and health which has just been further highlighted by the pandemic. With a safe home can come everything else and as a housing association we will continue to work with health organisations to keep our residents feeling safe not only in their homes, but within the communities that they live. This project has enabled us to develop links within our communities to provide accessible information to some of society’s most vulnerable.”

Holly McAnoy, Taff Housing


“The value of Get There Together in involving local groups to tackle the problems that Covid has raised in isolating people, is far reaching beyond the pandemic. So many people experienced loneliness and isolation prior to this. Get There Together identifies how we can help and address the different needs within local communities and support people living with dementia. It raises the profile of what we can do in terms of helping people return to the outdoors, help individuals become more confident, regain skills and become less anxious about getting out and participating in everyday activities. This initiative is vital to help people who have dementia and other vulnerable groups re-develop a sense of meaning and purpose in life, (where the pandemic may have taken this away), improve their physical and mental wellbeing and inspire others to do the same.”

Dr Jane Mullins, Awen Institute

Some Examples of our Resources

Next Steps

Get There Together resources were launched on 10th May 2021. The project is progressing into evaluation phase. Regional subgroups and partners continue to join the project and Get There Together resource development is ongoing.


Furthermore, the project is working with Accelerate and an industry partner to create resources using 360 camera technology. We will be working with Accelerate to understand how 360 footage is received and used by people living with dementia compared to our existing video resources.


Get There Together has become a national and regional community collaboration, demonstrating strong partnership working, keeping people’s needs at the centre of how health and communities come together, supporting people living with dementia to live well. The connections that have been made during the project provide a valuable model that could support future work. It will be important for us to consider how we can maintain these cross agency collaborative relationships.

Our Exemplar Experience

The project mentoring has been invaluable.

I am grateful for all the opportunities the programme has provided and highly recommend the experience.

Contact

Any business that would like to get involved is invited to email Natalie Elliott to find out how to contribute a video showcasing their COVID-19 safety measures.


Natalie.Elliott@wales.nhs.uk

@DrNElliott

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