Sharing Practice and Sharing Stories in Dementia Care

“Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today”

Robert McAfee Brown (attributed)

Monday 15 December 2014 saw the official launch of three new publications for Allied Health Professionals in Scotland: Agents of Change; Living Well with Dementia; and Living Well with Community Support. Published by the Scottish Government and Alzheimer Scotland, these publications highlight the impressive work carried out by AHPs in delivering improvement for people living with dementia and those who care for them, as well as leading change in practice. This week’s blogs is a Q & A on the “suite of three AHP documents”

What’s included?

The reports are full of rich stories of how it ‘can be’ when allied health professionals are getting it right for people living with dementia and their carers. Together the reports have 9 forewords, 41 narratives from a range of organisations including 10 NHS Boards, 1 specialist board, 2 third sector organisations and 3 local authorities.

Who has contributed?

Scottish Dementia Working Group (@S_D_W_G), National Dementia Carers Action Network,  8 allied health professionals (art therapy, dieticians, music therapy, occupational therapy, paramedics, physiotherapy, podiatry,  speech and language therapy), Scottish Government and Alzheimer Scotland.

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What has been the key to success?

The success of this work has relied heavily on leadership and partnership. Professional leadership from all the contributors who use their skills to help people with dementia cope better and improve their quality of life. Also, the work of the AHP’s in dementia care is only possible as a result of partnership working, partners in the same organisation and many new partnerships being developed and built upon.

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Why did you do three publications?

All 41 narratives are focused on real life, real people, and are a powerful way to highlight the positive impact, Allied health professional led interventions can have. We wanted to share the many creative ways allied health professionals are linking policy to practice in the areas of acute care and community care The narratives give a voice to the work of the allied health professionals and those we work with, showcasing how we can be “engaging, enabling and empowering”

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What next?

The personal narratives outlined in the three publications will contribute to the developing strategic AHP vision that directly links to Commitment 4 in Scotland’s current National Dementia Strategy.  With our partners we will consider how we spread the practice examples outlined in all three reports and enact the vision “Making sure nobody faces dementia alone”.

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What have been your top three highlight in doing this work?

  1. This is the first publication we have included our paramedical professionals who recently joined the “AHP family” in Scotland
  2. Working with a motivated and inspiring group of people who all said “yes” when invited to share their story
  3. The celebration and launch event of the three publications on the 15th December where we had the opportunity to say “thank you” to all our partners

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Let’s Talk About Dementia

We would welcome your comments on the publications and for you to share your “highlights” when you have had a look at the three reports?

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Allied Health Professionals Dementia Champions: Agents of Change

http://www.knowledge.scot.nhs.uk/media/CLT/ResourceUploads/4051528/AHP%20Dementia%20Champion.pdf

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Allied Health Professionals Delivering Post-Diagnostic Support: Living Well with Dementia

http://www.knowledge.scot.nhs.uk/media/CLT/ResourceUploads/4052050/02295%20AHP%20report%20on%20post-diagnostic%20support.pdf

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Allied Health Professionals Delivering Integrated Care: Living Well with Community Support

http://www.knowledge.scot.nhs.uk/media/CLT/ResourceUploads/4056217/Integrated%20dementia%20care%20living%20well%20with%20community%20support.pdf

Elaine HunterElaine Hunter
Allied Health Professional Consultant, Alzheimer Scotland
@elaineahpmh 

My remit in Alzheimer Scotland is to bring the skills of AHPs to the forefront of dementia practice and to share with them the principles and practice of working in a major charity that is dedicated to “making sure nobody faces dementia alone”. I am leading the delivery of commitment 4 of Scotland’s Dementia Strategy. In short, a great job working with great people.

Further information on the publications:

http://www.alzscot.org/news_and_community/news/3197_three_new_publications_for_allied_health_professionals

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