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Dementia support workers to improve end of life care in care homes

Author: Tom Moran
07 July 2015
  • Joanne Jinks and Sophie Meredith, dedicated dementia care support workers, aim to improve end of life care in local care homes

Two dedicated dementia support workers have been appointed in Walsall to improve dementia care and end of life care for people diagnosed with dementia living in care homes across the town.

The appointments are part of a year-long project being led by Pathways For Life (a partnership between the Accord Group and Age UK Walsall) and St Giles Hospice.

The dementia support workers will support staff at care homes across Walsall to use evidence based tools – such as the Abbey pain scale – to help the homes become more dementia friendly and ensure that end of life care plans are carefully considered and tailored for each individual.

The dementia support workers will also be encouraging the use of the Namaste Care approach. Namaste Care is a programme designed to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia by creating safe and relaxing spaces, while providing a broad spectrum of meaningful, person-centred activities that include sensory stimulation and advocate a more holistic approach to care.

"This joint collaboration integrates the philosophy of the hospice into dementia care and will enable equity and equality for people with advanced dementia at the end of their lives," said Helen Reeves, clinical nurse manager at St Giles. "The support workers will help enable all involved to achieve true person-centred care in the last 12 months of life."

The year-long project is being funded by NHS Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group and Walsall Council. It will offer to identify areas for improvement at each of the care homes, which will ultimately provide a positive outcome for customers and their families as well as highlight the importance of continuing to improve the approach to dementia and end of life care.

Earlier this year, Emma Hodges deputy chief executive at St Giles Hospice, wrote about the hospice’s work to improve care and support for people with dementia – both within the hospice walls and out in the community.

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