Dementia ambassadors are a huge success

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Social care staff committed to improving standards of care for people with dementia are making a real difference to families living with the illness

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12th March 2015 by Susan Smith 0 Comments

Dementia ambassadors are improving the quality of life for families living with dementia and are at the forefront of helping Scotland become a dementia-friendly society.

That was the message from Professor Jim McGoldrick, Convener of the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC), at a national conference to bring together 150 Dementia Ambassadors in Glasgow on Friday, 13 March 2015.

Dementia ambassadors are people in social service and educational roles who have volunteered to develop others skills to work with people with dementia. There are currently 700 dementia ambassadors whose role is to promote best practice and support colleagues in their knowledge of working with people with dementia.

Opening the conference Professor McGoldrick said: "This is the first national event for Scotland’s social service dementia ambassadors and I am really pleased to be welcoming them on behalf of the Scottish Social Services Council and its partners.

Dementia ambassadors are a huge successHenry Simmons, Alzheimer Scotland

Every dementia ambassador is part of an incredible force for change in Scotland, a force that has at its heart the hopes and aspirations of people with dementia and their families

“Dementia ambassadors are working right across Scotland, in people’s homes, over 300 care homes and in colleges to get people thinking differently about dementia and to improve knowledge and skills across the workforce. They have taken on a very important role and this national event is to recognise and celebrate that.”

Henry Simmons, chief executive of Alzheimer Scotland, told delegates: “At some point most of the 88,000 people in Scotland living with dementia and their families will need support from staff within our social care workforce. It fills me with hope and inspiration to know that throughout Scotland there are over 700 dementia ambassadors who are committed to leading the way in ensuring that our social care workforce have the right skills, the right commitment and the right values to ensure that we deliver the best support possible and protect the basic human rights and dignity of every person diagnosed with dementia.

“Every dementia ambassador is part of an incredible force for change in Scotland, a force that has at its heart the hopes and aspirations of people with dementia and their families and a force that will ensure people with dementia and their families can lead an inclusive and meaningful life as equal and valued citizens of Scotland.”

David Rennie, workforce consultant with Scottish Care, which represents independent providers of health and social care, said: "Scottish Care is delighted to support this important learning and sharing event bringing together dementia ambassadors, many of whom are from Scotland’s independent care home, care at home and housing support services. Their role is highly valued for showing personal leadership, promoting good practice where they work and in maintaining and enhancing care and support for people.”

During the dementia ambassadors conference delegates heard from the Scottish Dementia Working Group, the National Dementia Carers Action Network, the Care Inspectorate, RNIB Scotland, Ark Housing Association, Playlist for Life and the SSSC.