We deliver spiritual, pastoral and religious care to patients and carers within Huddersfield Royal and Calderdale Royal Hospitals as a team of chaplains and volunteers. This ranges from befriending to support at times of acute crisis and pain in the context of an often depersonalising and sometimes frightening environment. A significant proportion of those we visit have a diagnosis of, or symptoms suggestive of, dementia. We also work with staff, encouraging them to work holistically in putting the patient’s needs first.
- 9 October 2015
- Local Alliances:
- Kirklees Dementia Action Alliance, Yorkshire & Humber Dementia Action Alliance
1. Action Plan
1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?
We come with time and no medical agenda – and an intention of seeking to celebrate the person and to work with their ‘healthy core’.
We seek to be faithful and committed to them – by seeing them as a person first and foremost, respecting their beliefs and integrity and keeping pledges we make to them (about revisiting, etc).
We can be a listening ear for carers as people outside the loop of doctors and nurses to hear their concerns, and try to advocate for them.
We can stitch people back into established patterns of religion and make links for people with their local communities on their return home.
2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?
Issues of resources – we are a small department in the face of two busy hospitals.
Perception – we are sometimes perceived by staff as simply being religious people doing religious things for other religious people! – No!
Equipped for the task – with volunteers and mostly part-time chaplains whose main work is elsewhere, finding motivation and suitable occasions for training and education can be difficult.
Dementia Awareness Training
Provide Dementia awareness sessions/training for hospital volunteers and local clergy.
Set up event to for local Clergy to consider how they may become more dementia friendly and aware.
Ongoing repeat awareness session for those unable to attend organised sessions or slot volunteers/chaplains into other local sessions.
Develop Theology of Pastoral Care
Chaplaincy Co-ordinator to develop an understanding of how to understand dementia care as people of faith. To include other faiths than Christianity. This may involve other faith leaders.
Initial introduction event planned which can be developed and built on.
- Uncompleted, Investigating
Dementia Friendly Environments - Proofing the Hope Centres
Check the Hope Centres (Chapels) in both Hospitals to ensure the environment is dementia-friendly and where possible make reasonable adjustment.
- Initial Scoping