Dementia

Elderley man

Dementia is a progressive disease which gradually destroys an individual’s ability to make sense of the world around them. There are currently around 750,000 people in England living with dementia and this figure is expected to grow further as a consequence of the ageing population. As the number of people with dementia increases it is important that the adult social care workforce has the necessary skills and knowledge to provide the required standard of care. 

Skills for Care has developed a number of dementia resources and qualifications to support those who care for people with dementia, to provide good quality of life at every stage in their condition, allowing them remain active and engaged for as long as possible. 

 

Dementia refers to a collection of symptoms characterised by a progressive loss of cognitive abilities affecting reasoning, communication and the ability to carry out routine activities associated with daily living. It is a complex condition that can be linked with a number of medical difficulties and therefore requires a careful diagnosis

The condition is likely to deteriorate over time and carries significant implications for everyone involved. However, careful advice can provide reassurance to families and enable people to adapt their lifestyles to accommodate the changes that are taking place and 'live well with dementia'. It is becoming increasingly common with one in six people over the age of 80 having a form of dementia. (Dementia UK The full report, Alzheimer's Society, 2007).

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Those suffering with dementia need the support of people who can confidently provide care which is tailored to the specific needs and interests of individual, minimising stress whilst encouraging independence and choice.

We have produced the common core principles for supporting people with dementia, a guide which supports the social care and health workforce to care for people who are suffering with dementia. Training and development plays a key role in the implementation of the National Dementia Strategy and the common core principles can be used to support workforce development.

The principles have been mapped the national occupational standards and there units of learning within the Qualifications and Credit Framework.

Employers should use the principles as part of their development plans for local settings to improve the experience of those with dementia and their carers who rely on health and social care services.

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‘Supporting dementia workers’ is a learning and development guide which can be used by leaders and managers working in services for people with dementia. This resource refers to a number of good practice case studies and examples from the sector which focus on role of workforce planning and development to improve the standard of care for people with dementia. It supports managers working with training providers to deliver service outcomes and implement the Common core principles for supporting people with dementia.

Working closely with social care employers, key partners and training providers across the country, we have ensured that this resource has been developed 'for the sector by the sector' and we are confident that the information, advice and guidance included will support the development of the adult social care workforce. 

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‘Supporting people in the advanced stages of dementia’is a guide which can be used by leaders and managers working in services that are providing care and support to people in the advanced stages of dementia.  Working closely with social care employers and key partners across the sector, this guide considers how reminiscence can be used by the workforce to support people with dementia and provides examples of meaningful activity which can be used by the workforce to engage people who have dementia.

It highlights the dementia qualifications which can be used to develop the knowledge and skills of social care staff. It identifies the support from other professionals and it includes a case studies and examples from the sector to support employers and organisations.

We have produced two resources to support workers and carers of people with dementia.

Dementia and carers together -  A guide for social care workers on supporting the family and friends of people with dementia

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This short practical guide has been developed in partnership with Dementia UK to provide advice for care workers on the typical experiences of family and friends who are caring for someone who is suffering with dementia and the support they need. It includes quotes which detail the carer’s perspective and can be used by care workers in day centres, domiciliary care, residential care, social work and social care managers to support their engagement with the family and friends of those who are caring for someone with dementia.

Dementia and carers: workers’ resource -  Information for care workers supporting the family and friends of people with dementia

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This resource has been produced in partnership with Dementia UK to outline the main areas of knowledge that a care worker will need to support a person with dementia and their family or friends. It is a complement to ‘Dementia: workers & carers together’ and focuses on recognising the signs of dementia, support following a diagnosis, social care assessments for the person with dementia and the carer, living independently in advanced stages of dementia and the legal and financial implications. 

Better domiciliary care for people with dementia

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This guide has been commissioned by the Department of Health. It is aimed at leaders and managers working in domiciliary services that are providing care and support to people with dementia. The guide supports leaders and managers in developing their workforce to enable them to provide the highest quality of care in home care services. The good practice guide has been compiled by Skills for Care, working closely with social care employers and key partners across England. 

 

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