Title
Dementia Consortia: Integrated networks to deliver individualised supports for people with dementia
Research team
Fiona Keogh, Elaine Howard, Mary McGuire and Anna de Siún, Genio
Results
2016

Dementia Consortia: Integrated networks to deliver individualised supports for people with dementia and their family carers

This paper introduces, explains and describes the concept of dementia consortia by bringing together the experience and learning of dementia consortia established in Ireland to date. The aim is to illustrate how these groups can be established and to identify useful approaches and strategies so that a collaborative group can be as successful as possible.
This paper explores the learning of dementia consortia in Ireland to date, so that this form of integrated working can be developed further and highlights the following points;

  • Bringing together the appropriate stakeholders to form a Dementia Consortium is only the first step in the journey towards meeting specific goals through successful collaboration.
  • Dementia poses a multi-faceted challenge and the case is made that an ‘all of community’ response represents the most effective and sustainable way forward.
  • There is a great variety of membership across individual consortia. This reflects the fact that they are locally developed in response to local factors such as perceived needs, existing services and service gaps, existing strengths and interests among community and voluntary groups.
  • For a dementia consortium to run successfully, it is recommended that there is balanced representation across key groups.
  • Each consortium had to dedicate time to establishing and building relationships, both within and outside of their groups. Dedicated time for the management of the projects had to be negotiated, and the groups had to ensure their aims and objectives were defined enough to keep them focused, yet flexible enough to allow them to utilise the skills and strengths of their group and their communities as they emerged.
  • Though they face many of the same challenges, the consortia have evolved differently in their local areas, capitalising on their strengths and constantly reviewing their activities to ensure that they are working as effectively as possible.
     

 

Key Points
  • Bringing together appropriate stakeholders is only the first step in the journey towards creating a successful consortium.
  • Consortia must ensure their goals are defined, yet flexible allowing them to utilise relevant skills and strengths as they emerge.
  • Dementia poses a multi-faceted challenge and a community-wide response represents the most effective, sustainable way forward.
  • Membership across consortia varies greatly reflecting local factors such as perceived needs, existing services and service gaps.

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