WORKING TO BECOME DEMENTIA FRIENDLY – Workshop
- 10am Lecture theatre – Introduction to the PAS 1365 (Best Practice to Dementia Friendly Communities)
- 11am Coffee and snacks
- 11:30 Workshops
- 12:30 Feedback Session
- 1:00 Close
Two thirds of people with dementia live in the community and they, their family and carers, are your friends, neighbours, potential customers/clients or members of staff.
82% of the public believe that people with dementia and those that care for them need more help and support (YouGov, 2011).
It is bigger than Just Health and Social Care, we all have a part to play.
A Dementia Friendly Community is described by the Alzheimer’s society as:
A geographic area where people with dementia are understood, respected and support and confident that they can contribute to community life. In a Dementia Friendly Community people are aware of and understand dementia, and people with dementia, feel included and involved and have choice and control over their day to day lives.
This can be expanded to look at other types of community, such as ‘communities of interest’ It is also fair to say that if a community is ‘Dementia Friendly’ then it should be friendly for all residents.
National Dementia Declaration
- I have personal choice and control or influence over decisions about me
- I know that services are designed around me and my needs
- I have support that helps me live my life
- I have knowledge and know-how to get what I need
- I live in an enabling and supportive environment where I feel valued and understood
- I have a sense of belonging and of being a valued part of my family, community and civic life
- I know there is research going on which delivers a better life for me now and hope for future
Building Blocks of a Dementia Friendly Community
Aspects of a ‘Dementia Friendly Community’ can be visible or invisible
Example of Visible:
A dementia friendly shop or business may have widened its aisles or made its signage easier to read.
Example of Invisible:
A police service may have received training and become prepared to serve people with dementia. However, these types of services are often invisible until a person with dementia uses the service
Recognition process ‘Working to become Dementia Friendly’
Local communities can apply to become part of the Dementia Friendly Community Programme, to do this they need to demonstrate that they meet the foundation criteria and commit to working towards the ‘areas of action’ considering how community members with dementia may be supported by the three elements of People, Place and Process.
- Areas for Action
Recent British Standards PAS 1365 (code of practice for a Dementia Friendly Community)
Identifies eight ‘areas for action’ that should be considered when developing a plan for dementia friendly communities
- Arts, culture, leisure and recreation;
- Businesses and shops;
- Children, young people and students;
- Community, voluntary, faith groups and organizations;
- Emergency services
- Health and social care
Each aspect should be considered with the three elements of People, Place and Process.
- People, Place and Process
People: How can people within the community best interact with and support people who are living with dementia.
Place: Are the physical spaces such as shops, offices, museums and streets accessible and easy to navigate for people with dementia? For example, wider aisles in shops, clear signage in public spaces or at special events to encourage people with dementia to participate
Process: Do local systems, organisations and infrastructures facilitate people and places to be successful in supporting people with dementia? For example, inclusion of topics in school curriculums, plans to help people with dementia in case of an emergency
- Measuring progress
Becoming a ‘Dementia Friendly Community’ is an evolving process
The local groups should identify ways to measure their progress and to evaluate what is and what isn’t working so that improvements can be made and lessons learnt.
When registering as a Community Working to become Dementia Friendly you are asked to:
- State your own actions according to one or more of the 8 areas of action
- Give yourself SMART targets and explain how you will measure success
- Update progress regularly and share successes and failures
- Manage the use of the ‘Working to Become Dementia Friendly’ by local organisations and businesses
Once you have the building blocks
you can then start to develop the ‘Dementia Friendly Community’ (DFC)
Things which everyone should consider
- Use of language
Those ‘Working to become dementia friendly’ should consider the language and communications used. Positive language should be encouraged in discussions about people with dementia. DEEP have produced a guide called Dementia Words Matter. DFC’s should discourage the media using negative representations of people with dementia as ‘victims’ and ‘sufferers’ and discourage use of fear producing images such as isolated people with dementia primarily in the later stages or at the end of life.
- Equal Opportunities
Communities and local DFC’s should be open for all and encourage inclusion of people with dementia in the community irrespective of any of the protected characteristics:
|• Age||• Sex|
|• Disability||• Gender|
|• Race / Ethnicity||• Sexual orientation|
|• Religion or Belief||• Marriage or civil partnerships|
They should also recognise the health inequalities which may be associated
|• Socio-economic status||• Mental Health|
|• Geography||• Long term or acute medical conditions|
|• Seldom heard/vulnerable groups
- Environment and design
External spaces, both built and natural, contribute to the physical context of a dementia-friendly community.
Well-designed environments have the power to stimulate, refresh, remind and give pleasure to people with dementia and other disabilities. We should pay particular attention to those spaces that contribute to the risk of:
• confusion or disorientation;
• getting into difficulties;
• any consequential stress responses that arise;
• inhibiting independence.
The group should also look at ways to solve specific problems encountered with the following activities:
- travelling from one space or place to another;
- finding the way to and around familiar and unfamiliar locations;
- participating in everyday tasks such as shopping, parking, or posting a letter.
- environments should be accessible and adaptable for people with physical and sensory needs, as well as being aware of how the sensory environment can affect people with dementia.
- Public places and spaces should accommodate people with dementia and their families and carers.
Public places and spaces should be:
- easily accessible and approachable;
- navigated easily externally and internally.
Public places and spaces should have:
- wide pathways/corridors and even surfaces without confusing patterns or reflections;
- positive sights, sounds and smells without causing sensory stress or confusion;
- available seating, shade and shelter from the weather;
- available and accessible activities; and
- available and accessible receptions, toilets, restaurants, entertainment spaces, and workplaces.
- Your Stakeholder group and membership
Think about who you may interact with in a normal day…. Most (if not all) would fit into one of these ‘areas for action’. Would (should) a person living with dementia be any different?
Dementia Friendly ‘Organisations’
Once a community has demonstrated that it meets the foundation criteria it is issued with a symbol which it can then give to any local organisations and businesses in the community that wish to be part of the
‘Dementia Friendly Communities’ initiative
These businesses need to have stated what actions they will take towards
‘Working to become Dementia Friendly’
This is where you all come in!
In the same way that communities are asked to pledge actions according to the 8 areas of action, local organisations are asked to do similar – also taking into account the elements of People, Place and Process
In Kent we want to work with you all to come up with some local guidance and suggestions for local organisations and businesses.
Each Organisation or Business should fit into one of these 8 areas for action
If we can find some examples of what each area can do both practically and economically, taking into account the elements of People, Place and Process. We can encourage more organisations to join us in ‘working to become dementia friendly’ and therefor provide greater support for those living with dementia
But why stop there?
A community where all areas of the community are working to become dementia friendly is a great start.
However, what makes a community strong is good leaders, good connections and shared goals. This is a great opportunity to look at building and strengthening those local connections.
Rather than focusing on action plans which look just on what we can do individually, which may leave us with a gap in the middle which people fall through.
If we focus actions on how we can link up and support each other, such as Care Homes working with Arts, Schools, Transport or Housing, or Businesses working with emergency services, community groups or transport.
We can start to build a network that stops people falling through the gaps
Everyone has something to contribute. It’s our work to understand how we can best involve people, at what level and for what outcomes.
Even small steps, in the right direction, are steps worth taking.
Attendees will be split into groups to look at the following questions.
- What should we expect as a ‘starting point / minimum’ commitment from businesses and organisations?
- How do we encourage participation from across the sectors?
- What do you see as the benefits of becoming a dementia friendly organisation?
- What guidance and examples can we give of individual actions for the sectors?
- How can we encourage reach out across sectors?
- What guidance and examples can we give about reaching out?
- How can we encourage networks to grow, making local communities stronger?