Dementia Friends - An Untapped Resource?

‘Dementia Communities’ do not stop outside the door of a Dementia care home. Care homes are dementia communities. It should not matter where you live to get support.

Never assume a person or their family no longer need support because they are moving into a care home, an environment where people profess to be trained to meet their needs. This is a time they probably need help and support more than ever. It can prove to be a stressful and upsetting journey, one they currently walk alone.

As at 13 March 2017 there are a staggering 1,914,343 Dementia Friends (Dementia Friends web site)

Fantastic ! That's a lot of people who want to make a difference for people ‘Living with Dementia’. What a difference that could make for many people who are feeling alone and unsupported.

Why are we not utilising almost 2 million Dementia Friends who have made a pledge?

Every resident in a care home could be allocated a Dementia Friend. They could be their advocate, and a liaison between the family and the care home, to take away some of the stress when concerns need to be raised over poor care. Also very important for those residents who have no one visit.

Dementia Friends could be trained by campaigners with a clinical background, to know how to assess certain areas of care. We know of several fantastic knowledgeable and caring people across the UK who could fulfil this role !

Dementia Friends could share information on failure of care with the Regulator the Care Quality Commission, just as Your Voice Matters do.

With Dementia being a most talked about and popular cause, I am sure with Alzheimer’s Society's high profile and influence, they could encourage the Government to allow permission to access certain notes, to ascertain these people are receiving all their need to ‘Live Well with Dementia’, i.e. Adequate drinks, good nutrition, activity.

I tweeted Dementia Friends this month, but sadly no response as yet.

People with Dementia have no voice to be able to feedback on the quality of the care they receive. This is why Dementia Care Homes continue to be a serious concern for us here at Your Voice Matters.

Dementia is a label being used by many to make money and to cover up failings of care.

For many families, it becomes impossible for them to manage care at home and a care home offering 24 hour specialised care becomes the only option.

Care homes will always be needed. We must find a way to monitor and eradicate poor dementia care.

We could change life for people with dementia in care homes for the better, if everyone with a genuine desire to keep people with Dementia safe and cared for united.

Our focus should always be on the person with Dementia, not the worry of upsetting those being paid to care.

Jenny Moore

Your Voice Matters

Copyright March 2017

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