Platform: Dementia Ambassadors are helping to raise awareness

A Dementia Ambassador is a social care professional, passionate about providing the best possible service. Picture: TSPL
A Dementia Ambassador is a social care professional, passionate about providing the best possible service. Picture: TSPL
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DEMENTIA Ambassadors are helping to raise awareness of the condition and break down social barriers, says Allan Logan

As part of the Scottish Government’s National Dementia Strategy, the Scottish Social Services Council – the regulator for the social care workforce in Scotland – has been promoting the development of Dementia Ambassadors in social care.

A Dementia Ambassador is a social care professional, passionate about providing the best possible service, who commits to taking on additional training so they can encourage their colleagues and their community to better understand and support people living with dementia.

CrossReach was the first organisation to appoint a Dementia Ambassador in all of our older people’s services. Our Dementia Ambassadors are now a vital part of our services for older people, and have had a huge impact on the way we work, playing a big part in one of CrossReach’s services being named Care Home of the Year recently.

The Ambassadors ensure we are at the forefront of knowledge and best practice, meaning a better quality of life for the people we support. The Ambassadors are also able to support and advise people’s family and friends, as well as informing the wider community about dementia. I believe this will create a ripple effect which will result in society as a whole being more knowledgeable about dementia, and more comfortable interacting with those who are living with it.

CrossReach is the Church of Scotland’s social care charity and we have been involved in social care in Scotland for nearly 150 years. Like the Church, CrossReach is community-based. Rather than responding to one particular issue, our services have developed in response to the varied needs of the local communities we work in.

The goal of social care providers has always been to break down barriers. Our aim is to create a level playing field in society; to support people to overcome the challenges they face and to participate in their communities as equals.

In terms of our evidence base, innovative practice and professionalism, social care providers like CrossReach have made massive developments in recent decades which bring us closer to this goal.

• Allan Logan is director of services to Older People at CrossReach (The Social Care Council of the Church of Scotland), crossreach.org.uk