Age Exchange’s Virtual Day Care Service

The Virtual Day Care service provides meaningful connection to with people living with dementia, those that care for them, and older people experiencing loneliness and/or isolation. The service fosters companionship and support, whilst enabling creativity.

It is comprised of several elements. People accessing the service may be involved in all or some of these things:

Befriending Telephone Calls

Our dedicated team of staff, Reminiscence Arts practitioners and volunteers make these calls regularly.  The purpose of the calls is to see how the person and their loved one are, with callers offering a listening ear and friendly conversation. They are also happy to support people if there is anything else they need help with – such as access to food parcels and medication, or practical advice on how to contact other services or care for their loved one.

Activity Boxes and DVDs

Giving everyone the opportunity to be creative, stay active and have fun – whether that be through visual art, crafts, games, song or movement – is very important to our work at Age Exchange. In order to continue doing this during the pandemic, every few weeks we send out activities specially designed by our experienced team of practitioners, delivered directly to people’s doors. These include themed activity boxes and DVDs. Uniquely designed by our practitioners, the activity boxes contain a range of stimulating, inventive activities for all to enjoy whilst at home. Read more about our reminiscence arts activity boxes.

Online Group Sessions

We are running online sessions for some of our groups, where members can ‘meet’ through the internet to see each other, talk and share experiences. We have witnessed the benefit of people seeing familiar faces and giving and receiving friendship.

Newsletter

Our Volunteer and Community Hub manager writes, ‘Standing Together’, our regular newsletter sent out to all those who access our Virtual Day Care Service. This is a means for us to help people stay in touch with what the charity and each other are doing. It is an important tool for communication, giving individuals the chance to share their creative work and their lockdown journeys.

Our Virtual Day Care service is evolving each week, as we continue to develop new ideas and the things we offer. This is always guided by feedback from our recipients and the latest clinical and government advice.

If you would like to be referred into the Virtual Day Care service, or you would like to refer someone, please see further details under our New Referrals page.

New Referrals

Instead of hosting our regular groups for older people, those living with dementia and carers, we are running the ‘Virtual Day Care’ service.

Who can be referred?

  • Anyone living with dementia in the community, either in their own home, with a relative or friend, or in sheltered living accommodation.
  • The service is age-less – we accept referrals from those living with young onset dementia (for which we have specialist services) and older people alike.
  • Carers of people living with dementia or bereaved carers who have supported someone living with dementia.
  • We currently accept referrals from the London boroughs of Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark. We also accept referrals from Manchester for our Blackley service.

What do new referrals receive?

New referrals into our Virtual Day Care service will receive all or some elements of the service. What they receive and how frequently they receive it depends on the person entering the service. This needs and preference-based approach ensures our Virtual Day Care service is person-centered, flexible and relevant to those accessing it.

Virtual Day Care Referral Process

  • Individuals can self-refer by emailing hello@age-exchange.org.uk
  • We also accept referrals from health and social care professionals, support staff, care workers, family members or friends, provided those they are referring have consented to the referral being made and their details being shared.
  • Upon referral, Age Exchange will ask that the referrer to complete (online or over the phone) our standard referral form.
  • An AE staff member from the Virtual Day Care team (Dementia Services Coordinator or Development Officer) will screen the new referral to ensure we can offer the appropriate level of support for that person. If we feel we cannot offer the correct support, we will signpost the person to a more relevant service.
  • An AE staff member from the Virtual Day Care team (Dementia Services Coordinator or Development Officer) will then make initial contact with the person.
  • During the initial contact the level of support and intervention for the person/couple will be determined – i.e., whether they would benefit from befriending calls, Zoom sessions, activity boxes and/or DVDs.
  • The person/couple will be handed-over to the relevant practitioner (if appropriate), who will make contact and continue to offer ongoing support.
  • At any point during their engagement in the service, those accessing it can change the level of intervention they would like (i.e., start receiving boxes if they would like, stop calls, etc.).
  • Age Exchange has a robust Measurement Framework within which we seek both formal and informal feedback from those accessing our service, doing so at regular intervals to ensure a high quality of provision.

If you have any questions about our Virtual Day Care service, or would like to make a referral, please get in touch by emailing hello@age-exchange.org.uk  

Unfortunately, our funding does not enable us to work in every locality nationwide, but there may still be something we can offer to help you or the person you care for, so do get in touch if you wish to know more.