The common core principles for supporting people with dementia

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The Department of Health has commissioned Skills for Care and Skills for Health to produce new guidance for health and social care professionals who work with people who have dementia.

The publication provides guidance for leaders and managers, commissioners and training and education leads to develop a workforce that can create dementia friendly settings.

It also provides guidance on planning and delivering education for the wider workforce that is tailored to local contexts. This includes signposting to the national occupational standards and qualifications that support training and education but does not provide a prescriptive list of competences.

The common core principles for supporting people with dementia are:

  1. Know the early signs of dementia
  2. Early diagnosis of dementia helps people receive information, support and treatment at the earliest possible stage
  3. Communicate sensitively to support meaningful interaction
  4. Promote independence and encourage activity
  5. Recognise the signs of distress resulting from confusion and respond by diffusing a person’s anxiety and supporting their understanding of the events they experience
  6. Family members and other carers are valued, respected and supported just like those they care for and are helped to gain access to dementia care advice
  7. Managers need to take responsibility to ensure members of their team are trained and well supported to meet the needs of people with dementia
  8. Work as part of a multi-agency team to support the person with dementia.

Here’s the introduction from the report:

This guide presents eight Common Core Principles for Supporting People with Dementia. They can be used to enable workforce development for any member of staff working in health or social care with people at any stage of dementia, from the earliest signs to the fully diagnosed condition. The common core principles are relevant to every setting and provide a basis for a general understanding of the condition. They aim to build workers’ confidence in adapting their actions and communication in order to respond appropriately to the person with dementia. Signposting to resources and further reading has been included at the end of the guide.

Skills for Care, Skills for Health, Department of Health – Common core principles for supporting people with dementia: a guide to training the social care and health workforce (PDF), 9 Jun 2011.

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