During Dementia Awareness week this year we have been celebrating, connecting and chatting with Dementia Champions across the region both digitally and in person. I’d like to take the opportunity to share some of what Champions have been doing in this Blog.
On Monday 30th we began by celebrating with an in-person Graduation ceremony for 28 new Dementia Champions who completed the local online digital course in 2021. That only a quarter of the graduates were able to join us in person is a reflection of the ongoing challenging and difficult times we are all working in.
There was a strong presence from our NHS executive team including Jeff Ace (Chief Executive and Dementia Champion), Mark Kelly (Interim Nurse Director) and Joan Pollard (AHP Director) alongside Professor Tolson (Director Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice). Jeff provided a strong and clear message that we as an Integrated Joint Board remain committed to creating a culture of continued dementia learning and education to improve services and ensure our workforces are Skilled and confident to deliver safe, effective, evidence informed care for people who also have a diagnosis of dementia. Mindful that significant challenges remain, in a current climate of increasing co-morbidity and complex needs.
These new Champions join an established group of Dementia Champions across Health, Social care, Third and Independent Sector throughout the region – creating a network of over 120 active Dementia Champions staff. That’s certainly something to celebrate!
So what have these Dementia Champions been up to this week across the region? Have you noticed them each day on social media? NHS Dumfries & Galloway on Facebook? Or @DGHSCP and @DGNHS on Twitter?
As Dementia Champions we know that we need to share our knowledge and the skills we have in delivering effective dementia care, to inform and lead on changes to care and practice across workplaces and services. So we took a brave step forward and have gone digital, visible and public.
Every day this week a different Dementia Champion has recorded and posted a message; with a link to an online resource which can help support others to support people to live well with dementia. If you haven’t seen them, here they are along with the links to the resources.
|Monday 30th May I started the week outlining that each day, during #DementiaAwareness week, Dementia Champions from across the region will share what matters to them & how they support people to live well with dementia; Wendy shares the importance & link for us all to become Dementia Friends in our communities||https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=24SMMuG14TE|
|Tuesday 31st May Dementia Champion & occupational therapist Courtney sharing the importance of keeping our brains active and staying socially connected Click the links- useful resources & Print At home version #DementiaAwareness||https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTchEugxnrc|
Wednesday 1st June
|Dementia Champions Pauline & Katrina are both nurses, sharing the difference getting to know patients can have & something new in C4 DGRI called TIM (This Is Me) #DementiaAwareness|
|Thursday 2nd June Dementia Champion & district nurse Fiona sharing a link and information about why having a power of attorney in place is important #DementiaAwareness||https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58SHxSv287w|
|Friday 3rd June Dementia Champion & physiotherapist Lauren sharing information about keeping physically active to live well with dementia and protect your brain health #DementiaAwareness||https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDSWUdKAekA|
|Saturday 4th June Dementia Champion & nurse Kimberly sharing information for those of us supporting people with more advanced dementia; here’s the link CEASE #DementiaAwareness||https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1BNZ1z-7kY|
|Sunday 5th June Dementia Champion & nurse Sharon sharing how important is it we recognise pain and discomfort for people living with dementia; here’s the link Pain #DementiaAwareness||https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M76EwknTv5A|
As well as the recorded messages Champions in various settings have been putting up displays, having conversations and sharing information, skills and resources – from Care Homes to Social Work departments, ward settings and communal public areas. Here are some examples from a few places:
My hope for the Dementia Champions across the region, in all of our roles and settings, is that we remain visible, outspoken and proud throughout the year. Sharing what we have learned about best practice dementia care within our teams and workplaces, influencing and making positive change happen, so our services are inclusive of the needs of people who also have dementia.
So in your team and networks can you spot the Dementia Champions? Have you had a conversation with a Dementia Champion this week, either in person or digitally? I’d encourage us all to keep the conversation going, in person and also digitally; hit the like and share button, leave a comment – because when we get it right for people with a progressive brain disease like dementia we usually have also got it right for everyone.
Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Consultant