Dementia Action Alliance Annual Conference 2016
Yesterday we attended the Dementia Action Alliance Annual Conference. The annual conference brings together over 150 organisational members from across social care to explore the predominant priorities and challenges for dementia across health and social care.
The morning included discussions on the regretful failure of the drug trial for solanezumab, which would have been the first drug to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s. The saddening outcomes of The Autumn Statement were also discussed. Although these recent developments were disappointing, we spent the day acknowledging that whilst ‘this is where we are at, we do have an opportunity together to do something about it’
The afternoon followed with us listening to some very personal accounts from people living with dementia or from people supporting people living with dementia. This was good reminder for us all as to why we do what we do.
This year Dominique Kent, Chief Operating Officer, of The Good Care Group, was part of a panel discussion alongside other influential leaders within the social care sector, including:
Heather Wakefield, Head of Local Government of Unison. Prof. Martin Green, Chief Executive of Care England. Andrea Sutcliffe, Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, Care Quality Commission And Jacqueline Cannon, Chief Executive of Lewy Body Society.
The discussion was focused on the current crisis of Social Care in the UK and the impact it has on people with dementia. Dominique spoke with passion about the importance of engaging our young people to think about a career in social care.
“We have a generation of youngsters that, due to the poor media profile of care, don’t see this is a career option for them. We, the sector, have a responsibility to change that perception and show them that the opportunities on offer are as good as or better than what they might be presented with elsewhere. The care sector offers just as much if not more by way of opportunities.”
Dominique mentioned again the sad fact of how undervalued care is. “Care is a highly skilled profession that needs to be valued instead of being overlooked.”
The Good Care Group believes in making carers valued for their work and are committed to rewarding outstanding carers for the relentless service they provide.
“I do a job that I absolutely love, and what makes it special is that it impacts real people every day.”
She further continued to say, “People don't care about care, until they need it."
It is crucial to remind our younger generation, or even those closer to the age or requiring care, that at some point they too will be affected by the poor care system currently in place. And we should all take action to make a change now.
As part of the alliance our focus on the next year will also help make developments on providing people with dementia, from hard to reach communities, with better post diagnostic support. This includes the LGBT and BAME communities, people with young onset dementia and people with dementia from socially deprived areas.
Zoë Elkins, Head of Care Strategy at The Good Care Group, Said:
“After attending the DAA conference yesterday I feel energised to take forward our dementia strategy and help combat some of the challenges posed for people with dementia by the crisis in social care. It’s inspiring to be in a room of like-minded people, many of whom have overcome huge personal challenges just to be there, to share their stories and to help guide and shape the future of dementia care in this country.”
We hope to continue pushing the boundaries of the healthcare system in the UK to create better changes for those with dementia. This is an issue that affects everyone, and although it may not seem like it is now, it possibly will be in the future. Especially with the impact the cost of dementia has on the NHS.
We would also like to acknowledge the amazing response Dominique Kent received during the discussion.
Follow us on twitter @goodcaregroup for updates and live tweets during future events.
The Dementia Action Alliance (DAA) 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. The DAA is working towards bringing about a society-wide response to dementia. At a national level the DAA has begun to shape policy and attitudes. Locally we galvanise action by coordinating and supporting Local Dementia Action Alliances. Run by the Alzheimer’s society and with almost 5000 members now.comments powered by Disqus