News and Developments

Dementia Action Plan makes solid start

Significant achievements have been made in the first two years of Aberdeen’s Dementia Action Plan 2014-24, a new progress report shows. 

The July 2016 update document has been issued by the Joint Old Age Psychiatry Group (JOAPG) to summarise the early ‘wins’ which have been made so far under the six ‘Outcome’ headings. 

Under each Outcome, the document lists a wide range of “What We Will Do” pledges, graded high, medium and lower priority – outlining how each is being approached and giving examples of progress. 

The document lists a broad spectrum of 20 objectives, covering everything from transport issues to staff training and development, from housing needs to the establishment of a Dementia Resource Centre, and from the development of supportive activities to ongoing work with Aberdeen’s ethnic minority communities.

Much of the work is being carried out in close association with partners, including Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeen Council of Voluntary Services (ACVO), FirstBus, Alzheimer Scotland and Voluntary Service Aberdeen. 

The Action Plan’s intended Outcomes are:

  • People are well informed and encouraged about how to keep well, promoting wellbeing and positive lifestyle choices that support risk reduction and enablement and delay the onset of dementia.
  • People with dementia receive a timely accurate diagnosis and access to appropriate intervention.
  • People with dementia will receive 12 months of post-diagnostic support which is based on the Alzheimer Scotland 5 Pillar model, will be allocated a link worker, and at the end of the 12 months will have a person-centred support plan.
  • Carers are seen as equal partners and are supported appropriately in their caring role, being enabled to plan for their future and being supported in times of crisis.
  • People with dementia, their carers and families have access to a wide range of flexible and good quality supports which are responsive to the person’s needs and age-appropriate. This would include appropriate housing.
  • People receive appropriate end-of-life care which meets their physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs. 

Achievements so far include:

  • The Dementia Resource Centre opened in September 2015.
  • A range of support activities have been established, such as Musical Memories, the Walkie-Talkie Group, the Golden Games and Football Reminiscence.
  • A close working relationship has been developed between health and social care colleagues and FirstBus, eg supporting falls awareness on buses, developing a dementia staff app, and delivering Dementia Friends sessions.
  • The JOAPG is working with ACVO’s Ethnic Minority Forum to extend the take-up of dementia support among minority ethnic communities.
  • All Aberdeen City Council sheltered and very sheltered housing is being upgraded to under the Technology Enabled Care (TEC) programme.
  • Occupational therapists have been employed to raise TEC awareness across acute health services and the housing sector.
  • The Wellbeing Team and partners have developed a wide range of activities to support people with dementia and their carers.
  • VSA Carers Services and Alzheimer Scotland along with other partners are working jointly to deliver Carers Awareness Week and Dementia Awareness Week in 2016.
  • A wide range of peer support is available including the Carers Exchange, the ‘Letting Go’ Group and the Living Well Dementia Cafe.
  • Work is ongoing to upgrade Provost Hogg Court to very sheltered housing, including a dementia-friendly design.
  • The initial audit of staff awareness of spiritual needs has been done and the Chaplaincy is now following up by encouraging people to become dementia friends.
Dementia Action Plan Update PDF file icon