When I moved to my new area I contacted the lovely Emma Williams (Dementia Action Alliance Co-ordinator (East Riding), to see what was going on in my new county and whether I could do anything.
Emily is based at the local Alzheimer’s society office in Beverley and she’d already taken me there to say hello to everyone. Last Thursday and Friday saw us joining forces.
On Thursday we’d been invited to Beverley Community hospital by Janet Woodhouse – nurse consultant in dementia care across Hull and East Riding.
The hospital wants to become part of the Dementia Action Alliance. Sadly it’s another story of a new community building being built without any thought to being dementia friendly. As I said in the meeting, and it was echoed by all,
‘Why don’t designers think of these things at the planning stage instead of having to spend extra money redesigning once the building is up and running?’
Round the table were someone from Estates, representative of the community team, the Matron for the ward and staff from the ward. All were so enthusiastic and reception to change. The key priorities were around ward environment. Purpose of creating those changes was to create an environment around orientation on ward and relating it to the local town. It’s about the whole area not just a room. As we’re always saying, if you get it right for people with dementia you get it right for so many other people.
I loved the Matron’s attitude – she wants the full staff team to have an understanding for how to talk and behave towards people with dementia.
Everyone needs training – 100% Of staff need to be trained – wonderful!
I spoke of many changes being basic and therefore cheap!
At the beginning of January, we’re going to do a ‘walk around’ the unit to identify quick fixes and the not so quick fixes which I’m looking forward to. AND in February there’s a plan to have an Engagement Day, where the community and people with dementia and their carers will be invited to come and comment and the plans and give their own ideas – brilliant! Emma suggested contacting the local agricultural college and I suggested the Scouts as possible volunteers to help redesign the courtyard.
A very exciting project!
“The Dementia Action Alliance is a movement with one simple aim: to bring about a society-wide response to dementia. It encourages and supports communities and organisations across England to take practical actions to enable people to live well with dementia and reduce the risk of costly crisis intervention.” More information can be found at:
On Friday me and Emma met the local MP, Graham Stuart to persuade him to join the DAA and to help us to promote the changes at the local hospital.
We went to his monthly surgery at Cherry Tree Community Centre in Beverley. It’s common knowledge that his mum has dementia so we were very hopeful.
In order for him to agree, we knew we’d have to make it as simple as possible with the least work on his part. Emma had written out an action plan and he agreed with all she’d written. His main part of the deal was to become a Dementia Friend. Emma is organising a session before or after one of his surgeries so we may be able to capture others in the process.
He also agreed to come to the Engagement event at the community hospital in February if voting in parliament allows. So all in all a good meeting….he even agreed to the obligatory photo for the blog, but then MPs do love publicity, especially when it’s good publicity……….😊