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Celebrating our workers who help people living with dementia on World Alzheimer's Day

Published: 19 September 2023
Filed under: Communications

On World Alzheimer’s Day 2023, we are celebrating the hard work and dedication of our amazing staff who go above and beyond to support those living with dementia.

Waltham Forest Council has a range of services available for people living with dementia, from the early symptoms stage through to post-diagnosis support.

This includes the Dementia Hub in Leyton, which hosts a range of activities and information sessions for people living with dementia and their carers.

There is also the Intensive Dementia Outreach Service, offering support, advice, information and guidance for those living with dementia (who have eligible needs through the Care Act) and their carers. This could be through visits to the Dementia Hub or a different unit in Chingford, or (where appropriate) via home visits.

These services allow our staff members to deliver person-centred support.

We spoke to four staff members who have each completed 25 years of service for the Council.

Denise Walker

“I work alongside a great team and feel that I have gained skills over the years that enable me to actively take part in different roles within the service. I have also had the privilege to have met and supported some amazingly unique people and their families.”

Devendra Dookhit

“I have had the privilege to contribute to the process of providing some amazing and innovative ideas and bringing it to fruition. Being part of Intensive Dementia Outreach Service that has always put service users and their carers at the forefront, I feel that I have helped to make a positive difference for those going through their dementia journey.”

Maxine Howells

“I have always had a passion for supporting people living with dementia, as I have personal lived experience many years ago. I feel we provide a person-centred service which is much improved compared to the institutionalised support that was on offer when I first started to work in dementia care. I am proud to work for our service.”

Noorjahan Begum

“I have enjoyed working for Waltham Forest Council and the Intensive Dementia Outreach Service as we are a diverse team. I am proud of being bilingual and feel my language skills are embraced by the service I work for. This has given me the opportunity to support service users I work with in the most positive person-centred way.”

On Wednesday 30 August, Maxine and Noorjahan received certificates and bouquets to mark 25 years of working for Waltham Forest Council.

Maxine started as a Dementia Support Worker in November 1997 when the service was a pilot. Having developed the service from its infancy and helping out at a care home during the pandemic, Maxine is a respected member of the team and a care home manager said, “Maxine does one-to-one work with some residents who either prefer their own company or struggle to take part in group activities due to the degree of their dementia. She has a great ability of assessing the resident and getting them involved, and she has done amazing work helping people settle into the care home.”

Noorjahan started in February 1998, initially working at an in-house day service. She is another highly respected member of the team with one service user giving the following feedback: “Noorjahan has been an immense support during my husband's illness. She regularly engaged with both of us, participating in activities ranging from everyday conversations around our wellbeing to drawing and memory games.  We both always looked forward to our sessions with her and valued her time and efforts. During the period she visited we came to view her a friend who genuinely cared for our wellbeing.”

Cllr Louise Mitchell, Cabinet Member for Adult Services at Waltham Forest Council, presented the certificates and bouquets for Maxine and Noorjahan during an Intensive Dementia Outreach Service team meeting.

She said, “It was an absolute pleasure to meet Maxine and Noorjahan and honour the incredible work they’ve done over the last 25 years. Our dementia support workers go above and beyond to ensure each service user has the right tailored support for their level of dementia.

“Thanks to our amazing people like Maxine, Noorjahan, Devendra, Denise and so many others, we can continue to offer support, information and guidance to help those living with dementia and their loved ones through a difficult time.”

To find out more about the services supporting people living with dementia within the borough, please click on the below buttons.