The Health Innovation Network has worked with AGE UK, The Alzheimer’s Society, Innovations in Dementia, Mental Health Foundation and community groups across South London to produce a Resource Pack to promote the importance of peer support opportunities for people with dementia.
It brings together in one place evidenced based resources to help community groups and funders set up and run peer support groups, as well as guidance on how to make older people groups more dementia friendly.
It includes films, case studies, policy and research related to the benefits of peer support, as well as resources on funding, staff training and evaluation of groups. It has been developed for the statutory, community and voluntary sectors that are working with, or commissioning/funding services for people with dementia.
The Resource Pack can be accessed here.
Part of this project was a study on the social return on investment, to quantify the benefits of peer support for people with dementia.
The Health Innovation Network has published a report proving the positive social value of peer support groups for people with dementia, their carers and volunteers is far greater than the investment. Social value created ranged from £1.17 to £5.18 for every pound (£) of investment, dependent on the design and structure of the group.
Findings from this study demonstrate that peer support groups, or having the opportunity to meet others regularly, can help people with dementia feel less lonely and less isolated and are a valuable intervention. Dementia peer support groups also offer carers respite by providing some time for themselves, and the opportunity to meet other carers.
You can read more about the social return on investment study here.