As part of the project’s Carers’ Rights Day celebrations we would like to share and celebrate the 11,000 pledges made by people across the country who have pledged to make a difference to the lives of people with dementia and their carers.
Dementia Carer Voices have embarked on a campaign entitled You Can Make a Difference over the last two years, and have gathered pledges from Health and Social Care Professionals and students. ‘You Can Make a Difference’ offers carers of people with dementia a chance to have their stories told, and encourages participants to reflect on what they have learnt and pledge how they can make a difference to the lives of people with dementia and their carers. The project has also collected multi medium case studies, asking people with dementia, carers, and staff ‘what matters to them’, ultimately promoting a person centered approach to care.
As part of the project’s awareness raising activities, we also aim to empower people through the Charter of Rights for People with Dementia and their Carers which was launched on 8th October 2009. It had the backing of both Scottish Government and the Cross Party Group on Alzheimer’s and Dementia. The Cross Party Group argued a charter was necessary to tackle the stigma and discrimination people with dementia faced, and the exclusion of carers as decision makers in care. Using a simple approach, the Charter sets out the rights of people with dementia and those who support them to ensure that they, and the wider community understand their rights and that they are respected.
With the Carers (Scotland) Act agreed this year in Parliament, the theme of this year’s Carers Rights Day is extremely pertinent. Dementia Carer Voices champions a rights based approach to health and social care, and is pleased to share the commitment of people across the country to making a difference to people with dementia and carers.
This month a joint article has been published between the ALLIANCE and the Open University, based on the letters Project Engagement Lead Tommy Whitelaw collected from carers across Scotland. These letters have been analysed by Jane Joy and Diane Willis from Open University, with the results of their study now available:
Examining Dementia Caregivers’ Experiences, The International Journal of Aging and Society, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp.59-72, November 10, 2016. By Jane Joy, Thomas James Whitelaw, Irene Oldfather and Diane Willis.
An ALLIANCE summary of the letters analysis is also available to download for free here: letter-analysis-summary
ALLIANCE Director Irene Oldfather said ‘Advancing the rights of people with dementia, and their carers who sometimes face extraordinary challenges and barriers in communicating their needs and wishes, is a just cause. By harnessing the power of carers’ lived experiences, the You Can Make a Difference campaign speaks to the hearts of people and communities across Scotland, with the simple message that dementia is everyone’s business and that you have the power to transform the experiences of people affected by the condition.”
Carers Rights Day 2016 is on Friday 25 November, this year’s theme is: Missing out? Know your rights as a carer. For more information please visit Carers UK https://www.carersuk.org/news-and-campaigns/carers-rights-day