Care As You Are

‘Care As You Are’ is a film about the emotional impact of caring for a parent or spouse with dementia.

This project is funded by a grant from the “Solutions for an Ageing Society” programme run by Somerset Community Foundation in partnership with UnLtdSouth West Academic Health Science Network and the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

CAYA is an 80-minute film drama which follows the journey of a carer looking after her mother who is living with dementia. The film was written by Mary Renouf, who cared for her own father for seven years, and directed by Joanna Procter. Carefully researched with carer groups in Somerset and working with dementia expert Dr Jane Dalrymple, this is a compelling and reflective film and should resonate with many families today.

We received a grant from Somerset CC Adult Social Care to develop the film into a training tool for people working with and supporting family carers. The film was screened in Langport and Taunton as part of Dementia Action Week on 21st and 22nd May 2019, followed by a training development workshop on 25th June 2019 to develop the training package with a number of professionals.

DVD with comprehensive booklet available on Amazon from 12th June. 

We then continued our work with Dr Dalrymple to develop the training packages, working with a number of organisations representing different parts of the sector. Following feedback, Care As You Are has now been developed into two versions – one is a straight-through version, while the other pauses at the end of various scenes to allow reflections and questions relating to the scene.

The e-learning programme based on the film will shortly go live with Somerset County Council Social Care, and we will be offering the programme more widely this year (2022).

We are also exploring how the film and some of the activities devised around it can be embedded in a new app that is being developed to support carers in their role. We recently developed a two-hour online workforce development workshop, using scenes from the film, for a large mental health and community trust. The workshop was attended by clinicians and carers the trust has supported.

We are also working with a well-established carers centre to explore how all these developments might be taken forward to support their work.

Conversations surrounding dementia in loved ones can be awkward and pushed under the carpet, especially when talking about feelings. People can feel isolated, frustrated and invisible. The film continues to move people and support guided conversations about caring for someone with a progressive condition such as dementia. 

I just wanted to thank you again for a great session today, really powerful and inspiring. I am sure that it will motivate professionals to reflect and bring forward ideas for change in the way we provide support for carers, and it will be important to keep the momentum going!

Dr Robert M Lawrence, Consultant & Honorary Senior Lecturer, Psychiatry of Old Age & Neuropsychiatry(Richmond), SWLSTG YOD Lead Associate Medical Director/Director of Research & Development, SWLStG

Care As You Are is such powerful stuff…brilliant…useful for all carers. An excellent film and learning package.

Somerset Emotional Wellbeing Podcast, April 2022

I really enjoyed the film and I thought your writing was very powerful (I have a BA (Hons) in Creative Writing myself), and thought you did a sterling job of anchoring the script in reality and not allowing melodrama to creep in to the piece. All of the dialogue was really believable. Congratulations on a job well done!

CCG Commissioning Manager, Adult Mental Health and Dementia

I attended the April 7th event held by St George’s MHT for informal and professional  carers using the training tool film. I was really impressed by the training tool which  I understand is being developed.

JS Dementia Support Worker, Alzheimers Society