Strengthening the Involvement of People with Dementia. A Resource for Implementation.
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Original versionCSIP Older Peoples Mental Health programme (2007). Strengthening the Involvement of People with Dementia. A Resource for Implementation, York, England.
By 2025 it is estimated that over one million people in England will have dementia (Alzheimer’s Society 2007). It is fair to say that many practitioners may find the prospect of meaningful user engagement for people with dementia a considerable challenge – what is clear though, is that it is not impossible. There are many models of involvement and a whole range of approaches that can be used. Staff find that continually utilising the various techniques available for involvement develops skills in communication as well as enhancing a positive sense of achievement and learning. This toolkit augments the section ‘Involving services users and their carers’ in ‘Everybody’s Business – a service development guide’ (DH 2005). It sets out best practice and draws on the information and experience of a wide range of people, most importantly, those living with dementia. Our aim is to ensure that the mental health needs of older people are met in a person centred manner. In order to do this we need to challenge our own and others’ assumption that people with dementia are not capable of expressing their views. It is the person with dementia who is the real expert. Fundamentally, it is about care and support for people that ensures they can live a life that has meaning and purpose, identifying their individual wants, needs and preferences, ensuring dignity, respect and remembering that the individuality of human needs does not diminish with the passage of time or with diagnosis.
Toolkit/ A Resource for implementation