Plans to achieve dementia-friendly status by 2022
12 March 2021
We have started our journey to becoming accredited as a dementia-friendly organisation by 2022.
At least one in 10 of the people we deal with will be living with dementia or a memory problem and therefore it is vitally important that we work together to build a dementia-friendly organisation.
Laura Williams has been seconded as our Dementia Project Co-ordinator and will focus on achieving the key milestones which have been developed in conjunction with the Alzheimer’s Society and are aligned to the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives’ Best Practice Guidance for Ambulance Services.
- Deliver person-centred care that supports patients living with dementia.
- Develop a skilled and effective workforce able to champion compassionate person-centred care and recognise the early signs of dementia.
- Modernise our approaches to communicating by seeking and acting on feedback from people living with dementia and their carers to improve the quality of service we provide.
- Become a dementia-friendly organisation with environments and processes that cause no avoidable harm to patients living with dementia.
- Develop effective partnerships with local agencies (police, fire, health, social care, third sector) to improve care and outcomes.
Tell us about your experiences
As part of the project, we will be building links with our dementia-friendly communities, co-producing where we can and developing more training and education in response to the feedback we have received.
People living with dementia and their carers are being asked for their views to help influence change by completing this survey. It should only take a few minutes and it's important to answer all the questions to give us the most accurate picture of the service we provide.
Lesley Butterworth, Lead Nurse - Urgent Care, who is the Trust’s lead for dementia, said: “I’m really pleased to have Laura on board to enable us to drive forward our ambition to become a dementia-friendly organisation.
“We recognise that for people living with dementia or memory problems, contact with YAS either via 111, 999 or PTS can be a worrying time. Becoming a truly dementia-friendly organisation means we are an organisation where people living with dementia are understood, respected and supported. It affects every part of our organisation and needs to be part of our culture. We really hope that you will want to get involved in this fantastic piece of work”.
All our staff are encouraged to become a Dementia Friend, who help by raising awareness and understanding, so that people living with dementia can continue to live in the way they want. This is because too many people affected by dementia feel that society fails to understand the condition they live with.
What is dementia?
Dementia is an overarching term for a range of diagnoses of neurological conditions, whose symptoms are both cognitive and behavioural. The World Health Organization (2020) defines dementia as:
“Dementia is a syndrome – usually of a chronic or progressive nature – in which there is deterioration in cognitive function (such as the ability to process thought) beyond what might be expected from normal ageing. It affects memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, learning capacity, language and judgement. Consciousness is not affected. The impairment in cognitive function is commonly accompanied, and occasionally preceded, by deterioration in emotional control, social behaviour, or motivation.”
Dementia is a significant cause of dependency and disability in older people and often has wide-ranging, social, physical and psychological impacts on the individual living with dementia, as well as their family and carers. In 2015 there were at least 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia; this is predicted to rise to one million people by 2025 and two million by 2050.
Several studies have considered the prevalence and impact of co-morbidities on people living with dementia and their carer givers, with some reporting at least one co-existing condition in 90% of people diagnosed with dementia and at least 60% of individuals with dementia having three or more comorbid conditions.
Produced by: Corporate Communications Department