Supporting those who need it most

4caring Dementia Services

4caring Dementia Services

Belfast Central Mission is part of an exciting and innovative new project which aims to improve the quality of, and access to, care and support for older people with dementia and their families in Northern Ireland. This collaborative project, called 4caring, involves three other local community organisations - the Alzheimer’s Society, Extra Care and the Northern Ireland Hospice. The project has grown from shared recognition among the partners of both the need to improve the continuity of support for families living with dementia in the community, and an opportunity to work together to make the best use of increasingly constrained resources.

There are an estimated 19,000 people with dementia in Northern Ireland. Older people with dementia and their families often have complex needs and may benefit from the input of multiple service providers simultaneously. Support for these families can be disjointed and difficult to access. The project team’s ambition is to offer multiple services, across health, social care and housing, via a single 4caring coordinator, to support families to receive the right support at the right time.

4caring is funded, initially for twelve months, by the Building Change Trust through its Collaboration Enabling Fund. During this time, the partners will work together to develop a model of service delivery that aspires to provide coordinated care and support to families living with dementia in the community. 4caring is in an early stage of development, with plans underway to trial and evaluate a model of service delivery with a number of families this autumn.


The Alzheimer’s Society is the UK’s leading support and research charity for people with dementia, their families and carers. In Northern Ireland, the Alzheimer’s Society offers a range of support services to local people with dementia and carers, including information and signposting, advocacy, memories cafés and carer support services. The Alzheimer’s Society is the first point of contact for many families with dementia.

Belfast Central Mission (BCM) is an agency of the Methodist Church in Ireland and provides support to disadvantaged and socially excluded people throughout Belfast and Northern Ireland. BCM’s local services for older people include social activities, housing support, befriending and Kirk House Care Home in Belfast. BCM has recently published plans for a new flagship care home in Millisle, County Down, that has been designed in accordance with gold standard dementia-friendly design.

Extra Care is the largest independent provider of care at home in Northern Ireland, supporting older people, dependent adults and children across the country. Local services include domiciliary care, respite services and specialist nursing care. Extra Care has developed and implemented a unique Family Carer Training Programme that offers one-to-one, personalised training for family carers at home, including dementia awareness training for families supporting a relative with dementia.

The Northern Ireland Hospice (NIH) provides specialist palliative care for patients with life-threatening illnesses and supports their families and carers, whether the patient is being cared for in Hospice or in the community. NIH commits to a philosophy of care which affirms and values the uniqueness of each individual, promotes and develops a multi-disciplinary approach, recognises that needs change throughout illness, creates and maintains a safe, secure, caring environment, promotes choice, and supports the family throughout the illness into bereavement. NIH is currently developing a Certificate in Dementia through its Education and Research Department.

To learn more about the project and/or the partners involved, please contact Oonagh Thompson-Bradley, Project Coordinator, 4caring Dementia Services at or on 07711377329.

Building Change Trust