Spotlighting dementia

Is your care home dementia friendly?

Following some King's Fund commissioned research, the University of Worcester is developing a resource pack about good quality design to enhance the healing environment.

Resources to loan, book in advance

Memories Matter is a service run from Salford Museum and Art Gallery, which offers free loans of reminiscence handling boxes for organisations and care homes in Salford supporting older people. These boxes, with themes such as 'By The Seaside' and 'Glitz and Glamour', contain museum objects and images to evoke memories, stories and conversation. Also available for loan are picture packs with photos of Salford in the past, and pop-up exhibitions, ideal for lounges or entrance halls. These resources have been enjoyed by professionals and volunteers working with older people, including those living with dementia, since the service launched in 2006, and are used widely across Salford and beyond. Handling the objects can help to stimulate memories and helps people find common ground.

The museum is about to launch a new loans service, Art Box, made up of loan box resources, to help care staff deliver creative activities with people living with dementia in Salford. Using techniques such as storytelling, drama and visual art, the activities will help participants use their imagination, have fun and be creative. Care givers will also get new ideas for activities to do with their loved ones, and be encouraged to use Salford's cultural venues more.

Salford Museum and Art Gallery and Ordsall Hall have free admission and welcome visits from individuals and groups.

The Alzheimer's Society report, Dementia 2012: A national challenge, advises "there are now 800,000 people with dementia in the UK and there are estimated to be 670,000 family and friends acting as primary carers. The current financial cost of dementia is £23 billion a year to the NHS, local authorities and families. The cost will grow to £27 billion by 2018".

The report also notes "...we need to radically rethink how we treat people with dementia in the UK. By reading this report you are one step closer to changing the way we, as a nation, deal with dementia. Read on and become part of the solution. Just one change could make a huge difference to the life of someone you know and hundreds of thousands more."

The report and further information on dementia are available below.

Alzheimer's Society Dementia UK Report
This report produced by the Alzheimer's Society describes the social and economic impact of dementia in the UK.

Dementia; workers and carers together - a guide for social workers on supporting family and friends carers of people with dementia
Skill for Care and Dementia UK - this short practical guide has hands-on advice for care workers in day centres, domiciliary care, residential care, social work and related roles, and for social care managers, on typical experiences of family and friends who are caring for a person with dementia and the support they need.

Dementia and carers: workers' resource
Skill for Care and Dementia UK - this brief guide compliments the report 'Dementia: workers and carers together'. It outlines the main areas of knowledge that a care worker supporting a person with dementia and their family or friends carers should have.

Common core principles for supporting people with dementia - a guide to training the social care and health workforce
Skill for Care - this guide helps to develop a workforce that responds confidently to the person with dementia, understanding how to enter their world and support the life they are leading.

The open dementia e-learning programme
Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) - the e-learning programme is aimed at anyone who comes into contact with someone with dementia and provides a general introduction to the disease and the experience of living with dementia. This programme is designed to be accessible to a wide audience and to make learning as enjoyable as possible and so allows users to fully interact with the content and includes video, audio and graphics to make the content come alive. In particular the programme includes a considerable amount of new video footage shot by both the Alzheimer's Society and SCIE where people with dementia and their carers share their views and feelings on camera.

Using ICT in activities for people with dementia
Social Care institute For Excellence - this short introduction to using information and communication technology (ICT) in activities for people with dementia is aimed at managers and staff in the care sector, and those who organise activities for people with dementia. It's a plain language guide about using mainstream technologies - you don't need to be technically minded.

Factsheets on dementia
The Alzheimer's Society has produced a wide range of factsheets on the types of dementia that may be of benefit for developing employees understanding and as a useful resource for friends and family your organisation may support.

Dementia knowledge centre
This Alzheimer's Society website is an information service for professionals and others with an interest in dementia care and research. Their aim is to improve the quality of life of people with dementia by encouraging learning and best practice.

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