Promising approaches to living well with dementia is a new and very comprehensive guide from Age UK.
In his introduction to the guide, Keith Oliver, an Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador, neatly sums up what it has to offer:
“By starting from the perspectives of people with dementia, this guide adds to the ever growing knowledge base of what ‘living well’ really means. And, further, it offers thoughts on how this can be achieved particularly through support and engagement in meaningful activities.
This report is full of examples of interesting approaches which are already in place in some parts of this country, but as it makes clear the next step will be to open dialogues with local authorities up and down the country to reduce the current postcode lottery.
The framework the guide offers for supporting people will hopefully prove useful to those seeking to improve things, and there is comprehensive sign-posting to effective interventions for those seeking inspiration.
To place great emphasis on the rights of people affected by dementia is central to this work and is consistent with my own work with the Dementia Engagement & Empowerment Project (DEEP) Think Tank.
Rights-based approaches will be vital in taking forward our discussions with providers in the community. The new Dementia Statements set out a clear set of expectations and reminding people of these can help to ensure that people with dementia are not disregarded or overlooked. I have a copy of the new statements framed and mounted for easy reference on my office wall. Maybe all interested parties should copy this example or carry them in their diary for inspiration!
No matter who you are there is certainly something in this report for everyone touched by dementia, be they a person with a diagnosis, someone living with a person who has dementia or a professional seeking to better understand and care for those of us who seek to live as well as possible for as long as possible.