The ALLIANCE’s Dementia Carer Voices programme host exhibition at Parliament

Section: People and NetworksType: News Item Date Published: 27th June 2017
Photo of the outside of the Scottish Parliament building

'You can make a difference' pledges to be brought to life in two day Scottish Parliament exhibition.

Dementia Carer Voices are bringing the voice of 14,000 health and social care staff and students to Parliament for a two-day exhibition and event. Thanks to sponsorship from Jackie Baillie MSP, Dementia Carer Voices (DCV) have been given the opportunity to exhibit information at the Scottish Parliament on 27th – 29th June. There will also be an event in Parliament on Thursday 29th June to discuss the content of the latest DCV report which assesses the impact the ‘You Can Make a Difference’ campaign has had since it launched three years ago.

The ‘You Can Make a Difference’ campaign has involved an extensive outreach programme of over 600 talks delivered to health and social care professionals and students throughout the country, to engage with individuals at every stage of their career. This has resulted in over 14,000 pledges being made by practitioners and students to improve experiences for caring for individuals. These pledges are often small changes, but can make a crucial difference for people who are at their most vulnerable. Some pledges that have been gathered include:

  • “I pledge to make a difference as the future nurse to listen to the carers and patient.  To give them the best support and care they needed and not to make them ever feel isolated.”  (Student nurse)
  • “I pledge that I will see the person with dementia as an individual who has lived their life from childhood, to falling in love, to having a family and growing old, to understand their story and how they would like to be cared for.” (Nurse)

The campaign has showcased the impact of personal stories; the recognition that all of us are individuals and not simply ‘patients’ or ‘staff members’, and that each of us has the ability to make things better for other people, both in our personal and professional lives. The DCV exhibition will showcase the ‘You Can Make a Difference’ campaign and crucially the pledges that have been gathered to date, along with the journey that the people who have made them have been on.

Irene Oldfather, Director the ALLIANCE  said: “Dementia Carer Voices is delighted to return to Parliament to share the learnings of our inspiring campaign to make a difference to the lives of people with dementia, their carers and families. Discussing and debating the carer experience is to be welcomed as a way of increasing awareness of dementia and the carer journey.

Carers of people with dementia describe the journey as an emotional roller coaster which is both rewarding and incredibly sad as you lose a little of the person each day. The ALLIANCE welcomes this debate and the commitment of MSPs across the chamber to promoting the carer experience.”

  • “My pledge is to “leave no stone unturned and no door unknocked” in pursuit of a Better Tomorrow for people with dementia and their carers”

Tommy Whitelaw, Project Engagement Lead for Dementia Carer Voices said: “I would like to thank MSPs for their on-going interest and taking this opportunity to listen to the thoughts, feelings and experiences of carers. It is imperative that we raise awareness of the impact of dementia on families, and the vital role played by carers, so that nobody else in Scotland has to go through the caring journey experiencing the loneliness and isolation that we did.”

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