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'This is me' Dementia tool launched in Lancashire

Posted on the 17th September 2015

Health Professionals are re introducing a tool used to help people living with Dementia feel more comfortable in their surroundings whilst staying away from their home.

The relaunch of the ‘This is me’ tool is an action that the Trust committed to when signing up as members of Dementia Action Alliance and was originally developed by the Royal College of Nursing in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society. It is now being re-introduced by the Older Adult Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Service at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust and rolled out in Dementia wards provided by the Trust. The tool is sometimes known as a ‘dementia passport’ as the document contains a photo of the service user along with their likes, dislikes, preferences and daily routines to ensure the transition from living at home to receiving care in any healthcare setting can be as smooth as possible.

The tool supports health and social care staff in gathering personal and life history information from individuals with dementia enabling them to deliver care that is specifically tailored to the individual’s needs. It is designed to be completed by the service user where possible, family members or their carer and kept with them.

Angela Connelly, Patient and Public Experience Lead for Learning Disabilities and Older Adult Mental Health (Dementia & Advanced care) at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:

‘‘The dementia passport can help carers gain a better understanding of the person living with Dementia and help reduce some of the difficulties people may experience particularly around communication. It can also assist in maintaining people’s physical wellbeing by ensuring their likes and dislikes regarding such things as food and drink are conveyed to the people who care for them. It is such a practical tool for people living with Dementia; we felt that it was important to relaunch it to assist in ensuring we are constantly providing the highest quality of care.’’

 ‘This is me’ was first developed by the Northumberland Acute Care and Dementia Group and is supported by the Royal College of Nursing. You can download the leaflet by visiting www.alzheimers.org.uk/thisisme. The Alzheimer’s helpline can be contacted on 0300 2221122