Dementia, equity and rights: publication highlights a new approach to care

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Failing to develop a rights-based approach to dementia risks leaving large swathes of the population without appropriate support, according to a report published today.

Dementia Equity and Rights, produced by members of the voluntary sector strategic partnership programme, highlights the fact that over one million people will have dementia by 2025 but the condition is rarely considered in relation to equity and rights.

The publication is unique in its focus on dementia support in the context of the ‘protected characteristics’ defined under the Equality Act 2010.

Gill Boston, VODG and National Care Forum strategic partnership programme head, said:

“Dementia support needs to be person-centred and rights-based; it must take into account someone’s gender, race, sexuality, ability or socio-economic background. People who have already experienced disadvantage or discrimination may face further inequality if they develop dementia and the support they are offered is generic, instead of being tailored to their particular needs.”

The report includes several innovative approaches to dementia care and recommendations for commissioners, providers, educators, service users and carers and uses a series of case studies to illustrate the points made.

The report presents ten overarching themes in relation to equity issues in dementia. These will be useful for people who use services, their carers, commissioners and service providers’ approach and include:

  • exploring tailored support options following diagnosis
  • encouraging professionals to understand equity issues

The publication will be launched at an event in London with keynote speakers Toby Williamson (Mental Health Foundation) and Hilda Hayo (Dementia UK). Participants include voluntary and community sector care providers as well as representatives from sector-wide bodies such as Care Quality Commission, Skills for Care, Social Care Institute for Excellence.