Across Dumfries and Galloway there are currently 116 dementia champions on our register. We come from a variety of professions and backgrounds including:-
- Allied Healthcare Professionals
- Social Work
- Care at Home
- Chief Executive Offices
- GP Medical Centres
- Community Nursing
- General Hospital
- Mental Health Hospital
- Community Hospitals
How do we become a dementia champion?
As dementia champions we have attended training either locally or nationally. The training provides us with knowledge of dementia, some of the complications and the impact a physical illness can have on a person living with dementia. Listed below are some of the topics included in the training:-
- Understanding dementia
- Promoting person and family centred care
- Community connections
- Working with families and friends
- Promoting health and well being
- Stress and distress
- End of life care
- Supporting and protecting people’s rights
We are keen to stress that this training does not make us “experts” but gives us a greater understanding of dementia.
As dementia champions we have developed and agreed a charter which outlines how we plan to promote our role and support people with dementia and their carers when we are delivering care.
How can you (our colleagues and teams) help us to help you?
If a person living with dementia or cognitive impairment is admitted to hospital or being seen by services check whether they have a copy of “This is Me”. This document can provide us all with very important information and can assist us to make sure we are supporting each person in the best way possible.
Effective use of “This is Me”
- If the person doesn’t have a copy of “This is Me” offer them one to complete along with their family and friends.
- “This is Me” can contain information which is not always readily available at first point of contact.
- Encourage all those working with the person to read “This is Me” and talk to them and their family about the person’s preferences.
- “This is Me” should be easily accessible and ideally left with the person to allow them to share with staff working with them.
- Sign the document after reading as this allows families and carers to see who is involved in the delivery of care.
- You must also make sure that “This is Me” goes back home on discharge as this document is very important to the person it belongs to.
You will see from our charter that we are striving to introduce ourselves to people with dementia, their families and carers during episodes of care. The ward or department may not always have a dementia champion on duty but you can assist us by making sure that everyone in the area knows who the dementia champions are and how to contact them.
We will do our best to help, support and answer any queries you may have, however, as we’ve previously said, we are not experts! If we can’t advise you we know who to go to find out.
Development and Training.
We keep ourselves up to date by attending at least one of four development sessions organised for us each year. Our charter states we have to attend a minimum of one development session annually but we are encouraged to attend as many as possible.
These sessions cover a variety of topics but all help us to understand how we can best support people with dementia, their relatives and carers. The sessions are facilitated by Gladys Haining our Alzheimer Dementia Nurse Consultant and Alice Wilson Deputy Nurse Director. As dementia champions we are involved in decision making around specific topics we want to further our knowledge about. These sessions also give us an opportunity to discuss our role, share examples of good practice and discuss some of the challenges we face as dementia champions.
We rely on you as our colleagues and managers to facilitate out attendance at these sessions and your support is greatly appreciated.
- We, given the opportunity, can support and advise you on aspects of dementia and how to support people with dementia during episodes of care.
- We may not always be around, but, please make sure your department has up to date information about the dementia champions, who we are, when we’re on duty and how we can assist both staff and people with dementia.
- If we can’t assist you or answer queries we will seek help and support from some-one who can.
- We want to be able to help and support you as much as we can, so make sure you utilise the skills and knowledge we bring to the team.
If you require more information about dementia champions please contact:
Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Nurse Consultant
Tel: 01387 246981 Email: – firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter @gbhaining