When a new person is referred to us, we respond by phoning the contact person we have been given. At that phone call, we arrange a suitable time to come and visit you at your home. We usually spend 1-2 hours on the first visit. We have found that it works best if two volunteers come together – one senior volunteer to spend time with the main family carer and another volunteer to spend time with the person with dementia.
The main purpose of this first visit is to explain our positive approach and what we can offer you by way of support. We also want to get to know each other and it is really helpful if we understand as much about you as possible. We are interested in life stories – previous careers, sports, hobbies, homes, family, friends and interests. It is particularly useful to know about previous achievements and things that still make you feel proud. This allows us to include these topics in future conversations to increase enjoyment and boost self-esteem.
We also want to know what activities you have enjoyed recently – things that you still do and also things that you would still like to do but now find difficult. That helps us plan the best way to support you. You may also share with us any concerns or dilemmas so that we can work together to look at how to improve things. At the end of the visit, we make a plan together for the best way to support you both and usually this involves an invitation to come to the Monday Club Café. We will explain to you about our strict regard for confidentiality and we will ask you to sign a consent form to allow us to keep some of the details you have given us on record and comply with the Data Protection legislation.
By the time we leave, we hope that you will have got to know us well enough to look forward to seeing us again at the Monday Club Café. After the visit, you will receive an email summarising our discussions and making sure you know how to contact us if you or your family need advice or support in the future.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect when they came to our house but they were so kind that I felt so much more positive after they had left.”
“I hadn’t realised how much I needed to talk about how I felt – so good to be able to do this while my husband was enjoying himself with another volunteer in another room.”
“I really felt somebody cared.”
“I was so surprised how much my wife enjoyed talking to a stranger. I realised then she would probably love going to the Café.”
“For the first time for ages, I felt I was not alone.”
“I was able to be really honest about what concerns me. The relief!”
“By the time they left, I thought I had found a friend I could really trust.”
“Our discussion helped to remind me about all the good things we had done and it made me feel so much better.”