Dementia friendly cities, towns, shops, businesses. Celebrities, Politicians, charity figureheads all holding up their 'I am a Dementia Friend' boards and promoting the latest initiative in their local areas. Conferences on person centred dementia care. Specialised Dementia training. Authors launching their latest books on the subject, etc etc. I am not saying this is a bad thing BUT .....
We have an epidemic of people with dementia being neglected and abused in care homes and paying for the priviledge.
Why are thousands of people backing the 'feel good' dementia initiatives not wanting to help improve life for people with dementia in care? I do not mean by joining in fundraising open day events held at the care homes etc. I want people to look beyond what they see in the clever marketing ploys used by providers and be brave enough to face the reality of what life is like for many.
Is it because it is easier to do the 'nice bits', less contraversial, less upsetting/distressing? Is it because they feel part of the crowd? Is it because they do not want to believe it is happening? Is it because they do not believe anyone will help so what is the point? I must say, I do have some days like that myself, but I soldier on! It is not an easy journey to be a truthspeaker and challenge the care sector, the tangled web of network and barrier of protection around them, but our focus must remain on the person in the care home bed, not how unpopular it makes us by trying to do the right thing.
Your Voice Matters keep raising real issues about life in care for people with dementia, but very few in positions of power wants to take a leap of faith and work with us to bring solutions to make care homes safe places to live, work and visit. They continue to trust the 'experts', the very same people who support and promote the care home provider sector and state the situation is not as bad as families are making out. This shows how out of touch of reality they are, and where their loyalities lie.
The saturation of dementia initiatives has not made life any better for people with dementia in care homes and there has to come a time surely, when Politicians question just how 'expert' are the 'experts'?
Will that day ever come where kindness, compassion, commense sense and radical thinking will be seen as equally important to an OBE? We can hope and if that day comes, we can then get excited and know that the time has come for a change in this pattern of failing care!
Please support our campaign and let's make that difference.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!