To mark Dementia Awareness week 2 – 8 June 2014, the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) and Alzheimer Scotland have teamed up to call on Scotland’s health and social care professionals and wider society to consider how they can take action to support people affected by dementia.
The two organisations have come together today (Friday 6 June 2014) to launch a new leaflet promoting initiatives which highlight the small things we can all do to make a difference for the estimated 88,000 people in Scotland living with the condition.
Managed by the ALLIANCE, the Dementia Carer Voices “You Can Make a Difference ” campaign has already had a profound and far reaching impact, generating around 700 pledges health and care staff from across the country. The initiative asks people to reflect on carer’s personal stories and experience and later make a pledge based on one key message or action that they will take away and apply to their everyday practice to make a difference.
The pledges highlight the positive steps we can all take to make a difference for people affected by dementia through focusing on the person rather than the condition and taking time to listen to and focus on what is important to people with dementia and their carers.
“I pledge to view the person I care for as all that they have been, all that they are and all that they can be.”
“I pledge to take the time to speak to the person’s family and provide support to make their lives as fulfilling as possible.”
Tommy Whitelaw, Dementia Carer Voices Project Engagement Lead said
“This is an important opportunity to spread the message that we can all make a difference in our own way. Carers so often tell us that a little bit of time, listening and understanding can make an unimaginable difference during what can be a very difficult and lonely journey.”
Irene Oldfather, Director, the ALLIANCE, said
“At a time when the Mental Welfare Commission has again highlighted shortfalls in the care of people with dementia in continuing care settings, there is an opportunity to capture the heartfelt commitment of ordinary people across Scotland who want to make a difference.”
“By harnessing the power of carers’ lived experiences, the “You Can Make a Difference” campaign speaks to the hearts of people and communities across Scotland, with the simple message that dementia is everyone's business and that you have the power to transform the experiences of people affected by the condition.”