What can countries in the UK learn from each other about values, equalities, and rights in policy and practice affecting people with dementia? – Report of the first VERDe meeting
A theme from the day was that it’s all very well talking about rights and producing policies, documents, words using rights-based approaches but how do they actually get turned into something positive and transformative in the lives of people with dementia (the “grittiness of rights” as one participant put it)? Several examples were given of how health and social care services often seem unaware of rights when providing care and support, and people with dementia and carers were frequently too busy or overwhelmed with trying to sort out the basics to have time to think in terms of rights.
These challenges are for VERDE to communicate and publicise, but also address in subsequent events. A focus on rights in practice through the proper involvement of people with dementia and carers, the role of advocacy, engagement with excluded or disadvantaged groups such as women and Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, and collecting and sharing examples from across the UK, are some of the ways these challenges will be met.