What is the role of the Dementia Navigator?
The dementia navigator role is carried out by members of the Community Mental Health Team for Older People (CMHTOP). The Team is made up of Community Psychiatric Nurses, Social Workers, Support Workers and Clinical Psychologists. As well as the navigator role, the team provides community based support for people across the Belfast Trust area to people over the age of 65 and experiencing a mental illness and people living with dementia and their /family/carers.
How can I be offered this support?
If you and your relative attend an appointment at the memory clinic and you receive a diagnosis of dementia the doctor will offer you contact with the navigator. The Doctor will then ask for your permission to pass your contact details to the CMHTOP.
Do I need to agree to this contact?
It is entirely your choice and it is ok to decline the offer of a referral to the CMHTOP. The doctor will give you a CMHTOP information leaflet which will detail the team contact details. You can contact the team for advice or support at any time in the future if you would like to talk to someone.
How do the CMHTOP make contact?
If you would like contact, you will be asked when best suits you; during the day or evening Monday through Friday, or if a weekend morning call would be better for you.
A team member will then contact you at your preferred time by telephone within the three week period following you attending the clinic appointment with your relative. It may be a good idea if you think of anything to write it down so you can ask when the CMHTOP rings you.
What can I expect from the telephone contact?
The telephone call will provide you with an opportunity to ask any questions or talk about worries you may have. We will be able to give you useful information, or, be able to direct you to the right people if needed. The team member will be able to provide you with a range of information you may find helpful, which can be posted out to you. They can advise you of what services and supports both within the trust and community are available to you and sign post you to these services.
Information Leaflets and booklets are available.
On talking with the team member you may feel a more in-depth discussion would be useful, they can then arrange for someone to come out and visit you at home.
Follow up review call
Everyone is different and people require support and information at different times throughout their relatives journey with Dementia. Therefore, we like to offer people a follow up phone call six months after initial contact. If you are agreeable we will place you on a review list and make contact at that later stage. The navigator will also ensure you have the CMHTOP contact details and if things change for you we will welcome your call, no need to wait for us to contact you.
We hope that you will find us very easy to talk to, but just in case you don’t you can give your questions to another family member or a friend so that they can ask for you. We will also be able to give you some ideas about what other people in your situation have found helpful.