The ability of people with dementia to understand issues, make decisions and speak up for themselves varies enormously depending on their circumstances and the degree of dementia that they are experiencing.
Many people with dementia face serious disadvantage and are vulnerable to discrimination and abuse. Advocacy aims to redress this disadvantage and discrimination by supporting people with dementia, for example, to:
- play a full part in decisions about everyday matters affecting their lives;
- play a full part in major life decisions, for example, about moving home;
- obtain outcomes that they want;
- prevent outcomes that they do not want;
- ensure their needs are met;
- protect their rights and secure their entitlements;
- promote their well being;
- improve their quality of life.
Advocates use a range of techniques to enable people with dementia to have a voice, ranging from making sure that people with dementia who are speaking themselves are heard, to ensuring that the rights and the likely preferences of people who can’t speak for themselves re respected.
People with dementia may have a friend or family member who can advocate for them. This service is for people who need independent advocacy support in order to make sure that they are heard.
Useful information and contacts:
Leeds Dementia Strategy 2013-2016: NHS Leeds and Leeds City Council want to improve quality of life and local services for people with dementia, their families and carers. The Leeds local strategy document sets out a shared vision and approach to achieve the aims pf the National Dementia Strategy in Leeds. The document can be downloaded from http://www.leeds.gov.uk/docs/Living%20well%20with%20Dementia%20in%20Leeds%20Exec%20Summary%20FINAL.pdf
Living Well with Dementia: A National dementia strategy: Strategic framework for making quality improvements to dementia services and addressing health inequalities. The full document and an accessible summary can be downloaded from https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/living-well-with-dementia-a-national-dementia-strategy
See me, not just the dementia: Understanding people’s experiences of living in a care home. Available from https://www.bjf.org.uk/web/documents/resources/seemenotjustthedementia.pdf
Alzheimer’s Research UK
Alzheimer’s Research UK is the UK’s leading dementia research charity specialising in finding preventions, causes, treatments and a cure for dementia.
Alzheimer’s Society is a membership organisation, which works to improve the quality of life of people affected by dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Age UK aims to improve later life for everyone through their information and advice, services, campaigns, products, training and research.
NHS Choices – Dementia Guide
This site is a central hub of information for people with dementia, and their families and friends. For the wide community, it aims to raise awareness of dementia and help people to create networks and better understand the impact of the condition.