It can be easy to forget that the care industry is divided into many sectors, especially when you are focused on your own specialisation. People from many walks of life can be affected by similar conditions regardless of their age. As education is the key to understanding such conditions, Anchor partners with a Surrey branch of SeeAbility, a charity that house and care for people living with multiple disabilities, including visual impairment, learning and physical disabilities, mental health difficulties, acquired brain injury and life limiting conditions.
This partnership came about when an individual supported by SeeAbility in Surrey came to live with Anchor at short notice after a hospital stay. “The Anchor staff were fantastic, helping us to ensure he settled in well and they also wanted to understand how best to support him with his sight loss,” says Deanne Weller, SeeAbility’s Senior Specialist Rehabilitation Worker.
Both Anchor and SeeAbility have found that sharing specialist knowledge of different conditions has been invaluable to our organisations. “The Anchor team have been keen to learn how to recognise early signs of visual impairment when working with older people. Given the right support, there is still a great deal that people can do if they start to lose their sight,” explains Deanne.
As a result of the partnership a series of mutually beneficial workshops have been delivered at Anchor care homes in Surrey over the last few months. The sessions are very interactive and provide Anchor colleagues with a chance to better understand sight disabilities through wearing special goggles that help them experience what people see when their sight deteriorates. In turn, Anchor’s carers spend time educating SeeAbility staff on how to identify the early stages of dementia, discussing common symptoms and signs.
“The talks are very informative for the care team at SeeAbility. They are now more aware of how dementia is caused, how it affects people’s short term memory and how it is possible to live well with dementia,” says Jacqueline Cridlin, Anchor’s Community Partnership Manager for the South.
The initial success of this partnership means Anchor is now planning to deliver sight disability workshops to colleagues in a wider range of our care and housing locations over the coming months. SeeAbility’s Surrey Day Centre Activity Co-ordinator, Claire Oades, also plans to work with Anchor’s The Beeches care home to learn from the team’s knowledge of meaningful activities.
"It’s a great partnership and I’m looking forward to continuing to share skills and knowledge so that we can give people the best possible support" said Deanne Weller.
If you would like to discuss possible partnership opportunities with Anchor, please contact the Community Partnership Managers to find out more about how we could work together.