For many people in Scotland living with dementia and their unpaid carers, a one-size-fits-all approach to their care does not always take into account the vital aspects of their everyday life and well-being.
This needs to change.
Thanks to a ground-breaking investment of £2.5 million from the Life Changes Trust, Age Scotland, the University of Edinburgh and Queen Margaret University to deliver two bold new initiatives; a National Forum for Dementia Policy and Practice and a School of Leadership in Dementia. Both projects will support people with dementia and carers to become experts, leaders and influencers in Scotland.
Our joint mission is a Scotland where having dementia doesn’t matter to who someone is or how they live their life.
People affected by dementia and their unpaid carers will be at the heart of this work. They are the real experts and are on every street in Scotland. Together we will identify and demonstrate what works in terms of human rights, peer support, early intervention, prevention and a relationship-centred approach to care.
We will listen to them and respect their experience so they know they are valued.
Scotland has already led the way with its three National Dementia Strategies. The creation of the National Forum will bring together people with experience and expertise in dementia, locally and nationally, with the aim of evidencing what will create better lives for people with dementia and unpaid carers. The Forum will provide space to scrutinise policy and practice in many areas, including housing and dementia, sport and dementia, the arts and dementia, and human rights and dementia.
We are incredibly proud that so many wonderful organisations are partnering with us to deliver this ground-breaking Policy and Practice Forum.
We will promote evidence of what works well so that national and local policy and practice can be reviewed and, where necessary, adjusted. This is so that Scotland can become an exemplar of how, in all aspects of life, people with dementia can find meaning, be fully supported and involved.
The Forum will work hard to ensure that policy makers, service providers and the public know what matters to people affected by dementia and use the evidence we produce to show how to make Scotland a better place to live.
We’re hugely proud and excited about what can be achieved for people affected by dementia and their unpaid carers.
The founding partners of the National Forum for Dementia Policy and Practice are: Go Upstream, Luminate, Deaf Scotland, Ash Scotland, Paths for All, Heriot Watt University, Tide, Reach Community Health Project, Solicitors for Older People Scotland, Kirrie Connections, Faith in Older People Scotland, Eric Liddell Centre, Care and Repair Scotland, Age Scotland Orkney and the Mental Health Foundation.