Home Instead West Lancashire and Chorley the local high quality, specialist home care provider has joined forces with Love Ormskirk a non - profit organisation born out of The Portas Pilot high street initiative, recognised for doing good in the local community, to commence work on a dementia friendly communities programme for Ormskirk Town.
Focusing on improving the inclusion and quality of life of people with dementia and attempting to make Ormskirk Town one of the first dementia friendly towns in the North West. This programme aims to be aligned with the Alzheimer's Society's five year strategy which includes a key ambition to work with people affected by dementia and key partners to define and develop dementia friendly communities, as part of a nationwide approach across the country.
Robert Godson Director of Home Instead goes on to say, " Our joint aspiration is that: there will be an awareness campaign so that the general public can gain a better understanding about dementia; those with dementia and their carers will be supported to seek help; and people with dementia will feel included in their community, be more independent and have more choice and control over their lives. The Prime Minister's challenge on dementia also includes an ambition to create communities that are working to help people live well with dementia".
Just what are Home Instead and Love Ormskirk doing to make a dementia friendly community?
Home Instead are passionate about raising the profile of dementia in the local community and during National Dementia Awareness Week 19th - 25th May, we will be reaching out to everyone in our local West Lancashire community including families, businesses, voluntary organisations, charities, public servants, and community groups.
We will be providing FREE Dementia / Alzheimer’s Educational Workshops throughout Dementia Awareness week, and giving much needed support. Calling upon our expertise and experience in running our own specialist dementia training, which is fully accredited by City & Guilds, and is the only one of its kind in the UK.
The Team behind Love Ormskirk already recognise the tremendous value that these FREE Dementia workshops will bring to our local community and have pledged their full support encouraging members, local retailers and the public to register. Staff at our local Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, the newly formed West Lancashire CCG, Southport NHS, local social workers, other businesses, voluntary organisations and numerous local families will all be attending the workshops and will play their part in helping turn Ormskirk in to one of the first ‘Dementia friendly towns’ in the North West of England.
As well as getting a better understanding on dementia, completing course work, receiving outcome documentation and a certificate for attending each workshop, attendees will also get a free ‘Proud to be Dementia Friendly ‘ window sticker for their cars, offices, community centres etc. Love Ormskirk retailers will be prominently display these stickers in their windows, to reaffirm their on-going commitment, whilst also reassuring and helping to support local dementia sufferers and their carers.
Home Instead believe that carer training and on-going staff skill development is vital if we are to ‘raise the bar ‘on specialist care services for those suffering with dementia and or other related diseases such as Alzheimer's. We take the dignity of our clients very seriously and part of our strategy to deliver person-centred care is that clients and caregivers are matched so that they share interests and life experiences, thereby allowing them to more readily create a bond.
Health Minister Norman Lamb’s also plans to introduce compulsory training for all care home staff and carers who provide help in people’s homes. The new training forms part of government plans to protect the elderly from abuse and neglect. Home Instead welcome the proposals, which are long overdue and we would hope that these latest plans will include Personal Assistants (PA’s) who currently have no formal training requirements. Care staffs are working with often vulnerable elderly people and it goes without saying that they need to be taught how to support them safely, with respect and dignity.
Love Ormskirk are equally committed to raising the awareness of dementia and Rachelle Atherton owner of Competitive Edge in the Town and a leading light behind Love Ormskirk goes on to say, "Through our many members, social media and local web site we aim to help create a high level of public awareness and understanding so that people with dementia and their carers are encouraged to seek help and are supported by their community. Such communities are more inclusive of people with dementia, and improve their ability to remain independent and have choice and control over their lives, in turn they will be made to feel welcome whenever they visit the town. It is acknowledged that realising a true dementia friendly community will take a number of years, but this fact will not thwart our ambition, motivation and desire to do what is right for the local community".
The Prime Minister's challenge on dementia
In March 2012, the Prime Minister launched his challenge on dementia with a series of commitments to action. Creating dementia friendly communities is one of the commitments in the challenge. A champion group on dementia friendly communities meets regularly to work out how to develop dementia friendly communities. Key commitments as part of the challenge are:
• By 2015, up to 20 cities, towns and villages will have signed up to become dementia friendly.
• Support from leading businesses for the PM's challenge on dementia.
• An awareness-raising campaign.
• The Dementia-friendly Communities Programme working in partnership with the Dementia Action Alliance will develop evidence on what a dementia-friendly community is.