Page 3 - TalkingCareMagazine_Online Issue4
P. 3

 hello...and a very
warm welcome to
Beth Bri on, guest editor introduces our 4th edi on, focusing on all things demen a
Those of us who are passionate about demen a o en bemoan the lack of coverage afforded to demen a ­ and more broadly social care ­ in general elec on campaigns, but not so in recent elec oneering when the ‘Demen a Tax’ hit the headlines.
Highligh ng the inequality between the way in which demen a care and support is funded, and the care of other long­term (and in some cases terminal) condi ons was a welcome development in my view. Not only do people living with demen a and their families need this debate to come to the forefront, but care providers do too.
The vast majority of demen a care and support happens in social care, and quite rightly so. People with demen a generally don’t fare well in hospital se ngs, and aside from diagnosing demen a and the management through general prac ce of health problems that may or may not be directly related to the person’s demen a , most people draw on home care, live­in care or care homes when their needs become more extensive.
The third sector also provide a huge amount of less formalized care, organising support groups, opportuni es for occupa on and ac vity, and support for family carers, all of which is o en forgo en about but absolutely vital to the aspira on of enabling people to live as well as possible with their demen a. We know that most people living with demen a want to remain in their own homes for as long as possible, and ideally through to the end of their life, but services need to wrap around those individuals to ensure their wishes can be followed.
The difficulty is that services have a cost a ached to them. Even innova ve low­cost solu ons need the funding behind them to ensure their long­term survival. And long­term thinking is vital – demen a is, generally speaking, a condi on people live with for many years. My father lived for 19 years with his vascular demen a.
So the challenge is there for all of us. There is no shortage of people living with demen a who are telling us what they need. There is no shortage of families explaining the challenges they are facing. There is no shortage of data on the numbers of people accessing services (or needing to access services). And there is no shortage of providers highligh ng the challenges that they are facing in providing long­term, sustainable, person­centred support.
The ques on is, who is listening?
Well, I hope your organisa on is – posi ve change at a local level is vital for the people of Oxfordshire who are living with demen a. More broadly, I hope that a er another bruising general elec on campaign, our poli cians are listening – the expected social care consulta on exercise has to have a significant demen a focus surely?
Am I clutching at straws? Maybe, but I am always drawn back to Margaret Mead’s wise words:
“Never doubt that a small group of though ul, commi ed ci zens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
I hope that group of though ul ci zens, commi ed to outstanding demen a care and support, will be inspired by this demen a edi on of Talking Care.
Beth Bri on Guest Editor
Email: beth@bethbri Web: h p://www.bethbri
             Editors note:
Please turn to Page 14
to read Beth’s ar cle... Improvement for all­ me, not just crisis­ me
If you would like to be a guest editor and submit an ar cle to the next issue of Talking Care please contact:

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