During Dementia Awareness Week (4th-10th July), South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust will be raising awareness of its groundbreaking initiatives it has launched in South Kirklees to help older people living with dementia, as well as their carers and families.
Dementia Awareness Week is an annual event run by the Alzheimer’s Society that aims to raise awareness of dementia. This year the Alzheimer’s Society is asking people to think about the simple things they can do to make life for someone with dementia more manageable and enjoyable.
The Trust, which provides specialist mental health and learning disability services in the South Kirklees area, has a number of innovative projects taking place across South Kirklees which are already improving the lives of people with dementia, their families and carers.
One of these initiatives is the life storyboards project. This project encourages a person with dementia to create a storyboard of their life which can improve their self esteem and helps staff and family members to engage with them.
Storyboards are used to encourage discussion between staff, carers and members of the family about the person’s care in light of what they have seen and read. This ensures that care is provided with a person centred focus. The storyboards also provide an interesting insight into the person’s life which gives those around them a better understanding of them as a person.
The storyboards project is already being used to help those with dementia and their families in the Kirklees area through the care home liaison team. Staff have reported seeing a great improvement in people’s self esteem and mood after completing a story board. One lady’s self esteem improved to such an extent that staff agreed she no longer required anti-depressant medication.
This work and other examples of the Trust’s innovative care is detailed in a regional dementia innovation directory. The directory gives people across the region, from commissioners to carers, a flavour of what can and is being achieved to enable people to live well with dementia. The Trust’s senior planning manager Mary Duggan worked to pull together all of the information for the directory on behalf of the Yorkshire and Humber Improvement Partnership (YHIP).
Lesley Rollins a general manger for the Trust’s older people’s services in Kirklees said, “Dementia Awareness Week is all about raising awareness of dementia and the support available for those who live with the condition, as well as their carers and families. It is a great opportunity for us to promote the pioneering work that’s been going on in the Trust’s older people’s services recently, that makes such a difference to the quality of life of people with the dementia, as well as their carers and families. I hope that these projects continue to have a positive impact on dementia care and that more and more people benefit from them. We are developing and improving care for people with dementia all the time and I look forward to even more innovations being developed in the future.”
For more information about Dementia Awareness Week visit www.Alzheimers.org.uk/Awareness