Dementia Equity and Rights: publication highlights a new approach to care


Dementia Equity and Rights: publication highlights a new approach to care

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 1 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, National Care Forum and Voluntary Organisations Disabilty Group 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.

Today’s report presents 10 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, Keynote Speakers are 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. The event will be an opportunity for delegates to learn more about the issues raised in the publication, to discuss key implications and to share positive practice from a range of perspectives.

Today’s report is related to existing work the strategic partners have completed on specific support for LGBT people with dementia***.

Editor’s notes:

Dementia, equity and rights will be available to download here on 26 May.

The social media hashtag for the launch of the publication is #DementiaRights

* The voluntary sector strategic partner programme has 22 members, six of which are consortiums. Partners work together on aspects of health, social care, and public health policy with Department of Health, Public Health England and NHS England – on behalf of patients, service users and the wider public.  The strategic partners work directly with policy makers and co-produce specific projects. This event and publication is an example of that co-production.

The following organisations co-produced the report: Voluntary Organisations Disability Group (VODG), National Care Forum, Age UK, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Mental Health Providers Forum, Race Equality Foundation, National LGB&T Partnership, Women’s Health and Equality Consortium and Young Dementia UK.

** Alzheimer’s Society, Dementia UK: update

*** Dementia care and LGBT communities: A good practice paper.

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