What is the programme about?
Dementia Friends is a programme that aims to make everyday life better for people with dementia by changing the way the nation thinks, talks and acts. We want there to be a million Dementia Friends in England by 2015, individuals with the confidence to help people with dementia feel understood and included in their community. This drive will be reflected in Wales and Northern Ireland too where we are considering how to roll out the programme there.
Dementia Friends is an Alzheimer’s Society programme funded by the Government. The Government is providing £2.38million over the next three years which will fund the running of the programme – including paid staff to manage it, venues, materials, and volunteer training.
This programme has been inspired by a similar movement in Japan where they have three million Dementia Friends who are already making a positive impact on the lives of people living with dementia.
What is a Dementia Friend?
Being a Dementia Friend is about turning understanding into action. A Dementia Friend is someone who has been to a Dementia Friends’ education session and has pledged to take action within their local community. They will be told about some of the ways they could get involved in action on dementia. What they then choose to do is up to them. The Dementia Friends website provides more information about how to get involved:
Why is this needed?
At Alzheimer's Society, we know that dementia can make everyday life a struggle. Many of us take for granted how easy it is to do everyday things like shop, visit the bank or take part in our favourite hobby. But people with dementia face many obstacles to these seemingly straightforward tasks. Previously well-known routes can become foreign, bus timetables can become unworkable, money transactions confusing, and social groups daunting.
As the brain gradually shuts down, people with dementia sometimes need a helping hand to go about their daily lives so that they can live independently for as long as possible.
Alzheimer’s Society research found that nearly two thirds of people with dementia feel lonely, and almost half reported losing friends following their diagnosis. With one in three people over 65 developing dementia, it’s vital we change this picture.
We know people generally don’t want or mean to turn their backs on people with dementia. However, if they don’t understand why or how a person with dementia may need support, it’s much more difficult for them to provide it. By giving people a new level of understanding and awareness, Dementia Friends aims to empower people to make a difference.
What sorts of things will a Dementia Friend do or get involved in?
To get this movement started Alzheimer's Society is looking to recruit volunteers to the Dementia Friends programme and for them to help us build a network of further Dementia Friends in their local community. We will equip and train these volunteers to deliver awareness raising sessions to their networks, recruiting Dementia Friends, who could be work colleagues; school children; a local Women’s Institute group; a group of neighbours.
All our Dementia Friends will be asked to turn their understanding of dementia into action. This might be giving a helping hand to someone struggling to get on the right bus, volunteering in their local community, or encouraging someone else to get involved. It can be any action at all, everything will help.
How do people express an interest in becoming a Dementia Friend?
People can go to the new website at dementiafriends.org.uk or text Friend to 88080 to express an interest in these early stages of the programme. We will communicate with people who register their interest every two weeks to keep them interested and hope they will formally register to participate when we officially launch early next year.
Are we involving partner organisations in the programme?
Alzheimer's Society will work with voluntary sector and business partners to reach out to as many people as possible. We will build on and tap into what different sectors and other charities working in this field to engage them in participating in the programme.
The Dementia Leadership Countywide Event took place at the Holiday Inn on Friday 2nd November. Experts from all over Gloucestershire will join together to share best practice and ideas about supporting those in the County with Dementia.
This was the first event of this kind and more than 55 attended to listen to speakers and take part in workshops. Helen Bown who is the Joint Commissioner for Older People and Physical Disabilities Services, stated that the day shows that Gloucestershire is beginning to do some positive joined up working and that the leaders are using the dementia link workers within their areas of services in a productive and sustaining way.
Dr Hein Le Roux who is the GP Lead for the County commented that they day was extremely worthwhile and he was pleased to be involved and pleased to see so much good work going on in Gloucestershire.
Mary Keating said the quality of the workshops was inspirational and is exciting to see Glos raising the profile in care and that Mary is looking for leads who would like to do a work shop next year and contact her on 01242 634433 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Dementia Link Worker Conference was held on Wednesday 30th May 2012. Please see link for a commentary of the day. Below Helen Bown speaks to the Dementia Link Workers.
/Docs/GCPA DLW CONF 12.docx
The GCPA is keen to support & promote good practice in all areas of care. As you may be aware there is currently an audit into anti-psychotic medicines & their use in care homes within Gloucestershire. This has been as a result of national guidance in this area. The audit has found an excellent audit tool. The lead for the audit Dr Martin Ansell.
We would suggest that groups & managers adopt this tool to evidence their good practice in this area. Congratulations to OSJCT for developing this & our thanks to them for allowing us to disseminated their tool'
Together with the Dementia Action Alliance, the NHS have launched a call to action to work together in a way that will unite people in the common cause to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia.
We are delighted to receive information for our members from Robin Willmott, Dementia Nurse from the NHS.
The Dementia Training and Education Strategy for Gloucestershire:
Why consider dementia as a priority learning need?
We know that there are currently 850,000 people over the age of 65 years who are living with a dementia in the UK. This is due to increase sharply to 1.4 million people within the next 12 years (Alzheimer’s Society 2010). Although dementia is not age related the longer we live the more our risk increases, most of us will live into our 80’s and currently 1 in 4 people in this age group are receiving a diagnosis of dementia. There are believed to be 15,000 people under the age of 65 years living with a dementia, so dementia care really is everybody’s business.
What is the Gloucestershire Dementia Training Pathway?
The Gloucestershire Dementia Training Pathway (DTP) is the local provision provided by the multi agency training strategy team for Gloucestershire that delivers the learning and skill workforce need in dementia care; some of the nationally identified outcomes in the DOH Dementia Strategy (2009) which may be relevant to you are:
An informed and effective workforce for people with dementia
Outcome 2: All staff involved in the care of people with dementia to
have the skills needed to provide the best-quality care in the roles and in the settings where
they work. To be achieved through effective basic training, and continuous professional and
Good-quality information for those with dementia and their carers
Outcome 4: People with dementia and their carers to be provided with good-quality
information on the illness and on the services available – both at diagnosis and throughout
the course of their care.
Improve the quality of care for people with dementia outcomes 6, 8, 9, 11, & 12: People with dementia that uses any service provision in the public, private and or voluntary sector to receive an understanding and valuable experience.
Gloucestershire has a bespoke, Dementia Training Pathway (DTP) which has been available for the wider workforce to access since June 2008. Within the pathway the highly valued Dementia Link Worker Award is available to study towards.
The DLW award is a 10 month educative and supportive model for learning to facilitate the development of confident practitioners. The award is underpinned by a menu of the KSF and skills for care competency framework which leads to the accredited level 2 certificate in dementia care; followed by the award and recognised title of Dementia Link Worker (DLW) available for all people working with people with dementia.
Above are the Dementia Leadership Award Group who completed in May 2011.
What commitment does it involve?
The DLW pathway is continually being refined to meet the learning needs of people working with people with dementia and their carers; it is now a generic pathway where learning through best practice forums are multiagency providing a wonderful opportunity for shared learning.
Day 1 – Essential Dementia Awareness
Day 2 - Person centred-care & Emotional distress (behaviours that challenge us)
2 days Facilitator’s skills course (optional if alternative training certificate available)
5 full days’ best practice forums every 6 weeks
Accredited level 2 certificate in dementia care
½ day CPD, course evaluation, receipt of certificates/badges.
Annual CPD DLW County Conference
How will this benefit me and my team?
• Improve awareness and understanding of dementia.
• Recognise the different symptoms associated with the different diseases.
• Be able to offer alternative approaches/treatments to antipsychotic medication.
• Know what other support services are available within your locality to work with.
• Have a recognised dementia ‘expert’ within your team who can ensure you remain up to date in your teams’ knowledge by sharing best practice.
• Currently the courses are free of charge
Who can be a Dementia Link Worker?
If you are working with people with dementia, and you have an interest in understanding and meeting the health and social care needs of the person with dementia; you are also able to commit to a 10 month study programme which will involve reading writing and sharing knowledge with team members and relevant others – then we would like to hear from you..
The ultimate aim of the DLW role is to model, share and disseminate best practice dementia care with colleagues in order to drive up the quality of care for people with dementia.
How do I apply?
Contact your area Dementia Education Nurse:
Sue Keane Trainer for Gloucester & the Forest of Dean email@example.com
Mary Keating Trainer for Cheltenham, Tewkesbury & the North Cotswolds firstname.lastname@example.org
Robin Willmott Trainer for Stroud and South Cotswolds email@example.com
Dementia Leadership Award
Mary Keating delivers the Dementia Leadership Award to Senior Heads of Care and Managers who are involved in dealing with patients/residents with Dementia.
The Gloucestershire Dementia Leadership Award.docx
FLYER lead Nov 12.docx
Rachael Litherland of Innovations in Dementia:
Innovations in Dementia are working with the National Council for Palliative Care around the best ways of having difficult conversations with people with dementia about end of life issues.
Difficult Conversations poster.docx
The recommendations will be taken forward in the New Year as part of the LINs review of the full MCA audit when it is completed at the end of this year. Some of the recommendation will also be taken forward in the context of Advanced Care Planning which forms a theme of the report.
Department of Health
National Dementia Media Campaign Week of 1st March 2010
Letter David Behan re media campaign.doc
Carers Gloucestershire - If you are looking after a friend or relative, Caring with Confidence can help you to make a positive difference to your life and that of the person you care for.
Contact them on:
Dementia awareness campaign
The national dementia awareness campaign addresses the poor public understanding of dementia that can leave people with dementia and their families feeling isolated and discriminated against.
Running in March 2010, the TV, radio, press and online advertising feature real-people with dementia. The adverts target 40-60 year olds, encourage people to find out about the many simple ways to help someone living with dementia.
Produced in partnership with Alzheimer’s Society, the campaign is part of measures to implement the National Dementia Strategy.
The Interactive Training Resource for care homes is available for download;
For further information please contact SCIE.
South West Dementia Partnership
Visit their website
2Gether (Managing Memory Together)
The Open Dementia e-Learning Programme is aimed at anyone who comes into contact with someone with dementia and provides a general introduction to the disease and the experience of living with dementia.
This programme is designed to be accessible to a wide audience and to make learning as enjoyable as possible and so allows users to fully interact with the content and includes video, audio and graphics to make the content come alive. In particular the programme includes a considerable amount of new video footage shot by both the Alzheimer’s Society and SCIE where people with dementia and their carers share their views and feelings on camera.
The programme will therefore be suitable for care home staff (carers, administrative and managerial staff), domiciliary care workers, registered general, mental and district nurses, general and acute hospital staff, allied health care professionals, social workers, ambulance service staff, community support workers (meals on wheels, transport services) and family carers.
Dementia Signage Systems
Contact 0113 230 2046 for
SimplyUnite makes emailing and staying in touch with friends and family incredibly simple through the use of a touchscreen and other assistive technologies. The service user’s SimplyUnite account has been designed specifically for those not used to, no longer able to or just not inclined to use a traditional computer. What makes it so different? Simple, the SimplyUnite service has been specifically designed to be very easy to use, far more than a traditional computer, so service users will be up and running in no time.
Who benefits from this service?
The SimplyUnite service benefits 3 interrelated groups:
- Service users
- Older people
- People with learning disabilities of any age
For more information or to request a demonstration please contact us on 0845 388 4453.