Dementia experts lend their support to Balhousie Care Group's dementia programme

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Balhousie Care Group has welcomed an influential dementia-care campaigner and top dementia consultant to speak at the groups first ‘dementia ambassador’ meeting of 2017.

Heather Edwards, who is the dementia consultant at the Care Inspectorate and Tommy Whitelaw, project engagement lead at Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland spoke to Balhousie Care Group’s dementia ambassadors about Tommy’s ‘Make a difference’ campaign and the difference carers can have not just on people with dementia, but on their families and others around them.

Tommy has been travelling the length and breadth of the UK giving talks about his ‘Make a difference’ campaign as part of the Dementia Care Voice project with Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland. The campaign will see Tommy give 560 talks over 29 months and has already gathered over 12,000 pledges from individuals both within and outside of the care industry. Once the campaign is over, Tommy will present to the Scottish and UK Governments and Chief Nursing Officers to gain their support in implementing the changes identified from visits across the country.

Tommy commented:

“This campaign is about trying to make a difference and about how we have to come together to make changes and improvements to the understanding of dementia and the care of those living with dementia. It’s also about celebrating the commitment and dedication of those who provide the care and commending the great work they do on a daily basis.

He continued:

“The work of Balhousie Care Group and the dementia ambassadors is really helping spread the message and give people support and knowledge to make a difference. For us, we want everybody to know that no matter what your role is, everybody has the potential and opportunity to transform the lives of those who live with dementia.”

Last year, Balhousie Care Group introduced their Dementia Strategy, led by Dementia Consultant Yvonne Manson and consultations with staff, residents, relatives and external stakeholders to inform, support and influence the very best in dementia care. Within that strategy was the introduction of dedicated dementia ambassadors, with two or more colleagues from each of Balhousie’s 25 care homes taking on the role to be the ‘go-to’ person in each home for all things dementia-based.

Speaking of the talks, Yvonne added:

“Heather is a very positive person and is always looking to bring about positive change and together with Tommy they are an excellent start to 2017 for the dementia ambassadors. It’s really important to be able to hear from other dementia professionals about their campaigns and to work together to ensure best practice across Scotland. It provides our dementia ambassadors with a fantastic opportunity to learn a little something, ask questions and be inspired and I know they really enjoyed hearing from Heather and Tommy and adding their pledges to the ‘make a difference’ campaign.”