New online peer-to-peer mentoring service for people with dementia

31/03/2010

Today the Department of Health is starting a new partnership with "Horsesmouth" to support people with dementia and their carers to become online mentors to provide support and advice to others in the same situation.

Horsesmouth is a safe and secure platform, where people who have been there or done that in life can support others through the challenges they are facing. There are already 12,000 mentors on Horsesmouth, helping over 25,000 people, and we think it is a brilliant place for people who have experience with dementia to support those facing the challenges it presents.

We need Dignity Champions to spread the word about this new service and to encourage people they think will make good mentors to join the site to give others the benefit of their experiences to help them live well with dementia.

People can sign up as a member and mentor under the 'living well with dementia' badge, by going to the weblink below.

They then complete and submit their mentor profile (Horsesmouth approve them all before posting) to become registered as a mentor, and for others to view their mentor profile and contact them as a mentors.

We also want Dignity Champions to encourage people who would like support from someone who has "been there before" to visit the website and get in touch with a mentor they would like to talk to.

It's a great way to volunteer and give something back, and it's a really meaningful way to enjoy communicating online. It requires only that people take it seriously and are ready to participate in the community. So, please, encourage people not to keep all their wisdom locked up inside their head - but to share it with others who might benefit from hearing how they have handled something, managed something or achieved something.

Horsesmouth does not limit people to talking about dementia, in fact, it would great if people could offer support on other experiences. People can mentor on three subjects, and we would ask that one of them is related to dementia.