Three months induction with lots to learn i.e. many modules on dementia; data protection; safeguarding; CRS (database); etc. and ongoing learning with various courses to attend. Staff are encouraged to attend a Welcome Day in London which is very informative and allows a view of all the departments that form part of the organisation as well as a chance of meeting other members of staff from all over the country.
Troubled culture, poor strategic leadership, services for people with dementia are being outsourced or closed.
Manager (Former Employee) – London, Greater London – 10 July 2017
The Society is currently going through a large change programme and as a result a number of people are embarking on a redundancy programme. The second phase of the change programme commences in the Autumn. The moral dilemma is that job vacancies are still being advertised knowing that in the Autumn a number of positions will be affected by the change programme. So my advice is to check whether the position you are applying for will be affected. In considering whether voluntary income is well spent on supporting people with dementia you need to look at senior manager salaries for the answer.
"If your face fits approach", unsafe practices endorsed by senior managers, specialisim leads are inexperienced
I attended three memory cafes a month to help set out and improve engagement of the service users and their carers. It was a nice, laid-back environment so I felt comfortable talking to people and helping them engage with the activities. The other members of the team were lovely and welcoming.
Society worker (Former Employee) – London – 12 May 2017
Poor salaries, weak management, unresponsive personnel team, and constant mistakes with pay. The Society relies enormously on workers paying for their own travel to clients' homes, reimbursing expenses on a monthly basis when staff submit claim forms with receipts. I suspect the Society would not survive as a charity if it weren't for the staff's generosity and forgiveness. Some leave because the unreliability of the organisation causes them great financial inconvenience. The expenses and pay mistakes leave people, already on low wages and short-term contracts (with pay increases per year of only 1% if they are kept on beyond the end of the financial year, which is RARE) thoroughly broke - some clocking up around £150 in expenses per month. You would assume they could, like most employers, offer an interest free season ticket loan, or an imprest, but no. Volunteers are much relied upon and there are some good volunteer officers in the company. But the downside is there is little leadership for those officers, few 'thank you' events for volunteers, and most volunteers are not actively encouraged to claim their travel expenses. As for management - it is hard to know what is happening. A new strategy was put forward this year and staff on all levels were to offer their thoughts, but in reality it was a fait accompli - everything was decided before staff could comment, even the colourful pop styling for the corporate identity, intended to attract the youth of today: designs which were a simplistic answer that showed little insight or imagination. An embarrassing aspect of the newmore... strategy was political bias. The strategy was named the New Deal on Dementia, revealing the Leadership team's allegiance to the Conservative party, borrowing the name of the party's historic back to work scheme for young people. As an inclusive Society for all, political language such as this should have been put to one side and especially in light of the Conservative government's swingeing cuts to disability benefits and the introduction of the Bedroom Tax. This bias will not attract London donors who might more readily support Alzheimer's Research UK. Communication is also a huge problem across the Society. Every month staff receive a teleconference announcement from the Leadership team which they listen in to by way of a dial-in system. But they listen. They do not participate. It is more of an old fashioned radio speech than a forum. Staff are not encouraged to offer their views and everything is very top-down. Overall, staff are generally dedicated and hard working. But as salaries are low and job security negligible, unfortunately the quality of candidates applying for roles seems to be rather below average for the graduate workforce, which is not good in terms of efficiency. Some posts require several attempts at recruitment as candidates are unsuitable. Even so, there is a 'make do' attitude and the best of the weak candidates get recruited anyway. Often I wonder if the Society could operate with a smaller workforce of more talented staff, with more staff rewards. I have regularly witnessed colleagues whose mother tongue is English struggle with basic English, which has been awkward at times and does not give a professional impression to service users. Clumsy language in letter correspondence is the last thing a recently diagnosed person can contend with - it comes across as insensitive, thoughtless and disrespectful. Had my family received such letters, I would have posted any such letter back with an acerbic complaint to show I was no mug, dementia or not. My impression is that staff on the whole have the best of intentions and are good-hearted, but the main issues are weak leadership, few staff rights and benefits, and a weak grasp of quality control as the organisation has grown at a fast rate. No one knows who is who. After several years at the Society by the time I left I did not know who the different heads of departments are as staff are not encouraged to talk to each other beyond their immediate teams or loacalities.less
You can help people in need.
Disorganised and politically biased, with little quality control.
Dementia Support Worker (Current Employee) – Liverpool, Merseyside – 7 March 2017
My day to day role is extremely varied- one day is never the same as the next! My role primarily involves maintaining a caseload of clients and providing them (either people living with dementia, or people affected by dementia) with one to one support. I will assess each individual client's situation and provide any necessary information or guidance, with the aim of maintaining their independence and improving their wellbeing. If necessary I will signpost to, or liase with, local services and organisations e.g. social services, memory clinics, benefits advice teams. I also facilitate Alzheimer's Society support groups and activity groups, and role manage a number of volunteers. Additionally, my role involves raising the public profile of dementia. I attend local events and conferences with the intention of improving awareness of dementia among both professionals, and members of the general public.
Day Support Manager (Current Employee) – Byfleet – 3 March 2017
Working for The Society has been very challenging, Goal Posts move very quickly and flexible working is required to keep up with some of the changes. Communication from Senior management could be better time managed to allow staff to deal with changes in more time. The hardest part of my Job role has been moving my entire service in a short space of time and ensuring that everything in both premises were being dealt with appropriately. Whilst maintaining all Service Users to remain with in my service and settle into a new unfamiliar building.
I have managed a team of nine staff and nine volunteers, who wo0rk very well within a team. They are very supportive and encouraging towards each other, which ensures for a friendly, fun working environment for all.
Sadly our service is being closed at the end of this month, I am saddened and relieved that the service is coming to an end and look forward to new exciting challenges.
Dementia Adviser (Current Employee) – Eastbourne, East Sussex – 23 February 2017
As an Dementia Adviser I ensure Clients are offered the opportunity to provide feedback and my ability to reflect on my limitations and weaknesses has helped me to develop my Advisory Skills to a high standard, ensuring I fulfil my personal goals and competencies, whilst remaining proactive in ensuring I receive the necessary training and guidance on areas I feel I would benefit in improving.
Dementia Support Worker (Current Employee) – East Anglia – 27 January 2017
Being able to help a person make an informed choice and maintain their independence; whether this is through accessing services (either through voluntary or statutory agencies) or working with them on coping strategies, this is what makes it an interesting and rewarding role. Learning about people; their lives, their families and in turn about yourself. Working with an amazing group of people who show the same amount of passion as you; striving to make a difference.
Support Worker (Former Employee) – Wells – 8 November 2016
A typical day at work would be, starting at 8.30 am by receiving clients at the door and offering a nice cup of tea. Start group conversations as well as one-to-one conversations. Engage clients in games and activities until lunch time. Serve lunch and help to feed those who displayed difficulties. Go for a nice walk after lunch and have a nice cup of tea with biscuits on our way back. Say goodbye to the clients at 4.30 pm and talk to their carers about any concern that may have risen. Write a daily report about clients activities on the day with relevant feedback to improve clients well-being at the center. Discuss with manager and coworkers any concern I had and listen to others. Give ideas for next day activities and ways to improve the care of our clients.
Dementia Support Worker & Group Faciliatator (Current Employee) – Enfield, Barnet & Haringey – 17 October 2016
A typical working day involves going through emails referrals, responding as appropriate, dealing with telephone enquiries and requests for assessments and support for clients ( People with dementia and Family carers).