We have a number of resources which can support you in optimising the wellbeing of people and communities you work with, enabling them to 'Live Better'

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1. Uniquely Me

'Uniquely Me' is a record of daily activities and a person’s life story which focuses on the individual, taking into account among other things their life history, how their culture impacts on their behaviour, values, beliefs, preferences and how they would like to be cared for. Its primary use is for people living with dementia and most importantly it asks the care provider to look past the dementia and see the PERSON living with dementia. However it has also been found to be invaluable for people who are unable to communicate their own needs easily e.g. someone with learning disabilities, or whose first language is not English. It is a very simple A4 sheet that can be used to record important information that can make all the difference in making sure that an individual receives the care that is best for them. A prompt sheet is provided to make completion of the form easier.

The major benefit of 'Uniquely Me' is that all the information is recorded on a single sheet of A4. Keeping the record short by using an A4 sheet takes into account the benefit of having concise information which can be used easily in the shortest time possible, compared to other records e.g. in booklet form. This documented, vital information can be used by care staff to reduce the time taken to complete their formal documentation.

'Uniquely Me' (originally called 'About Me') was developed in July 2006 by Ruth Chauhan in response to a number of concerns raised with PALS (Patient Liaison and Advisory Service) in the hospital where she was working as a Senior Nurse. Numerous complaints had been made by relatives and carers of people living with dementia regarding the poor standard of care that older people who were confused were receiving in relation to nutrition, hygiene and general understanding of the needs of the individual. It was recognised that in order to provide appropriate care for these patients it was essential to pay attention to both their physical and psychological needs by learning more about them as a unique individual with specific needs.

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To accomplish this, it was agreed that it was necessary to provide information to care staff, in a simple format, which would help them to understand the person, taking into account their life experiences, values and attitudes, recognising the whole person not just their diagnosis. Relatives/ Carers were involved in the development of 'Uniquely Me' and commented that it had given them the opportunity to participate and be involved in the care and that they felt more confident that their loved one would receive the appropriate care. Following the implementation of 'Uniquely Me' there was a reduction in the number of formal and informal complaints at ward level.

If you think that 'Uniquely Me' is something that would improve the care experience for someone you know or would like more information, please contact us.

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2. Health & Wellbeing Passport

It is widely accepted that by keeping active, eating healthily and keeping your mind active you can reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and dementia. It can also help with self-management of Long Term Conditions. In response to the fact that this is easier said than done we developed a 'Health & Wellbeing Passport' (Passport) which uses an approach which puts responsibility for health, happiness and independence firmly in the hands of individuals and communities while recognising that many people need help and advice to achieve this.

The Passport is an innovative, unique, evidence based tool which was developed, evaluated and amended through our work with a broad range of statutory, voluntary organisations and individuals including older people and those from minority groups.

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The Passport identifies risk factors that have the greatest impact on an individual's health and wellbeing and recommends actions they can take which will address their personal risk. The Passport empowers individuals to feel more in control of their health and wellbeing enabling them to make informed decisions which lead directly to improvements in quality of health and life. The Passport captures, monitors and measures the progress of individuals in meeting their identified health and wellbeing goals.

Individuals have an initial assessment of their health and wellbeing which is used as a baseline to monitor behavioural change. An action plan is developed to address the personal risk issues which have been identified. We provide a programme of advice, support and activity sessions to address the identified risks. This is implemented by a Wellbeing Coach supported by volunteers on a weekly basis either 1 to 1 or in group sessions. We currently provide this on-line due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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The advice takes into account the dietary and cultural needs of the client group, looking at acceptable dietary alternatives to reduce saturated fat and sugar intake and encourages increased physical activity.

The importance of regular exercise in helping to reduce the impact of several diseases, such as osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke is emphasised.

Following the initial assessment to identify risk factors and development of an action plan to address issues, further assessments are carried out after 5 and 10 weeks to monitor change.

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We work with Community Groups, Faith Groups including Hindu and Sikh Temples, Mosques, Extra-Care Housing Schemes, GP Practices and Pharmacies to identify individuals who would benefit from using the Passport.

If you think that the Passport is something that would help you or someone you know to 'Live Better' or would like more information, please contact us.

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3. Exercise programme

Regular exercise is important in reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes and dementia but also in helping to reduce the impact of several other diseases, such as osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Even a little activity can improve balance, strength, muscle power and blood pressure.

Regular exercise helps with

  • Improving your independence
  • Reducing pain from arthritis
  • Improving your sleep
  • Reducing the risks of falling and fractures
  • Improving your mood
  • Improving your memory
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We provide a programme of weekly exercise sessions which encourage an increase in activity with exercises and activities tailored to the needs of different client groups. Safety is really important, and exercises are designed specifically for older adults with health issues and limited mobility. Exercises are kept simple and easy to follow. These sessions are usually provided face to face in groups but are currently provided online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

If you would like to be involved in our exercise sessions or would like more information, please contact us.


4. Dementia Diversity

This initiative of AmbaCare Solutions was set up as we believe that by working together with individuals, communities and organisations who are committed to delivering solutions which meet the identified needs of people living with dementia, we can build communities which can make daily living activities easier and more accessible.

We have a number of resources which are described briefly below. For more information and to see how you can get involved visit our website.

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4.1 Dementia PAL (Peer Assisted Living)

A Dementia Pal is someone with lived experience of dementia who can provide help and support to people living with dementia and/or their carer. They also raise awareness in their community and with their friends to increase people’s understanding about dementia and how it affects people. Their aim is to provide peer support through empathy and sharing their experiences.

We have volunteers who we have trained to become Dementia Pals. If you would like to be put in touch with a Dementia Pal or would like more information, please contact us.

You can be assured that we take the safety of everyone we work with very seriously and therefore all our volunteers are DBS screened and receive comprehensive training.

Due to Covid-19 all support takes place online or by telephone.

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4.2 Focus Groups

We passionately believe that it is vital to ensure that people with lived experience of dementia, particularly those from minority groups, are involved in, and influence everything we do.

One of the ways people with lived experience can be involved is through our Focus Groups where they can share their experience and knowledge to identify good practice in the provision of services to people living with dementia. Through the Focus Groups we gather information about the current status quo and how best to engage and provide appropriate support and information. Participants help us to identify priorities, needs, concerns and barriers to accessing care from the perspective of those living with dementia and/or their carers. Many of the members of our Focus Groups are Dementia Pals and are therefore able to express a wide range of views.

This approach goes a long way to overcoming the current divide between service provision and the failure to meet the specific needs of people living with dementia from minority groups, by recognising that as members of the target community, they are best placed to interpret and feedback on the their specific, identified needs.

If you would like to be involved in a Focus Group or would like more information, please contact us.

Due to Covid-19 all our Focus Groups currently take place online.

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5. Extra Care Housing

Extra care housing describes housing developments that enable self-care and independent living by providing self-contained homes with design features and support services. Extra care housing includes very sheltered housing, housing with care and retirement communities or villages with common features:

  • Purpose-built with accessible building design that promotes independent living and supports adults to have a ‘home for life’
  • Fully self-contained properties where occupants have their own front doors
  • Tenancies or leases which give residents security of tenure and the right to control who comes into their home
  • Some communal spaces and facilities
  • Care and support services accessible 24 hours a day
  • Community alarms and other assistive technologies
  • Fob or person-controlled entry to ensure safety and security
  • Office, or work space for use by staff serving the scheme and sometimes the wider community

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Some schemes may have additional facilities, which may be open to the local community at reasonable charges. Some examples of this are restaurant and gym facilities, meeting rooms and public areas. Increasing use is being made of telecare devices in extra care housing developments for example, fall detectors for adults who are prone to falling, or devices for adults living with dementia who are prone to 'walking with purpose'.

Occupants may own their own home, be part owners or tenants. In contrast to residents in care homes they all have legal rights to occupy underpinned by housing law. In addition, agreements are put in place that cover the provision of care, support, domestic, social, community or other services. Residents in extra care homes do not usually have to obtain their care services from a specific provider, but other services for example domestic services, costs for communal areas including a catering kitchen, and in some cases some meals, might be built into the charges residents pay.

Extra care housing is continuing to evolve and is highly diverse. There are some common ingredients and approaches which characterise it and evidence is emerging about its contribution to older adults’ wellbeing. A recent study found that extra care housing can also have a major impact in promoting residents’ quality of life and reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation

The 'extra' in extra care housing describes the care services which are provided that can:

  • Respond quickly to a resident’s changing needs
  • Provide unplanned care if it is required in addition to planned care 
  • Provide assistance in an emergency response

AmbaCare is very aware that there is a lack of appropriate extra care housing for BAME older adults and we are committed to work in partnership with others to address this issue.

BAME older adults have limited access to and choices in extra care housing for a number of reasons including

  • Limited awareness or understanding of available housing options by BAME older adults
  • Failure to involve BAME older adults in the service development process
  • Service providers make assumptions regarding the individual preferences of BAME older adults
  • Service providers have limited understanding of specific religious and/or cultural needs and how these impact on daily living
  • Inappropriate design of accommodation
  • Unsuitable scheme location, for example the importance of being near community facilities such as shops selling ethnic foodstuffs and places of worship is not taken into consideration 
  • Limited number of staff with appropriate language skills and/or cultural knowledge
  • Inconsistent allocation policies between service providers

'Integrating health and housing can ensure that those living with long term conditions receive the right support and treatment regardless of ethnicity, gender or social circumstances'

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AmbaCare’s proposed solution is to work in partnership with housing providers to develop culturally appropriate extra care housing which will also include our HEALTH & Wellbeing initiatives

  • Interventions to facilitate the prevention or self-management of Long-Term Conditions
  • Activities, support and advice to improve wellbeing and mental health
  • Activities, support and advice for adults living with dementia and/or their carers                               

AmbaCare brings added value gained by

  • Developing and managing Housing Associations/ Schemes
  • Extensive experience of developing solutions to meet the housing, health and care needs of BAME Communities
  • Integrating work across agencies to deliver housing-based services to tenants in their home or nearby
  • Working with the NHS and Health and Social Care organisations
  • Managing older adults’ services in Acute Hospital setting
  • Developing and delivering health related initiatives such as Integrated Intermediate Care, Home from Hospital
  • Initiating and developing various Community Infrastructure Programmes
  • Successfully bidding for primary care programmes such as the management of GP Surgeries, Sexual Health, the Management of Long Term Conditions
  • Undertaking Research programmes such as Dementia, Engagement of Older Adults in Decision Making processes
  • Delivering health and wellbeing initiatives including improving care for adults living with dementia


If you think our vision to provide extra care housing for BAME older adults is something you would like to know more about or could get involved with, please contact us.