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New Dementia Care Mapping Team 7 July 2006

The Department of Health and Social Security is pleased to announce the development of a Dementia Care Mapping Team, which consists of 27 ‘mappers’ trained via Bradford University from both the public and private sectors of health and social care.

Steve Rodan, MHK, Minister for Health and Social Security said,

“Ensuring the good physical and mental health of everyone living in the Isle of Man is central to the aims and objectives of the Department. I am delighted that there is such a substantial group of professionals dedicated to helping those whom dementia affects every day.”

Dementia is one of the most feared aspects of ageing. People with dementia suffer prejudice because of their age and intellectual decline. There are fewer young people in society, and an increasing number living into old age. Thankfully, today we have a much better understanding of the incidence and impacts of dementia than we did just 10 years ago.

Sue Steele, Dementia Care Mapping Evaluator said,

“As a society, our expectations for our relatives with dementia are quite rightly growing. We no longer accept that living with dementia inevitably means poor quality of life. Service users want to be listened to and valued as individuals. They want support, which enables them to exercise choice and control.”

Sue added,

“Care with older people is not effective unless those people themselves are satisfied. However, what happens if they cannot communicate their needs themselves? People with dementia will rarely complain, and so the onus has to be on the care regime to be proactive. In other words, we have to be vigilant on their behalf. This is where dementia care mapping comes in.”

Dementia Care Mapping (DCM) is an observational tool used to assess and measure the quality of care given to people with dementia in terms of personal well-being rather than in terms of any kind of impairment. It is a person-centred care approach with a holistic element, and although it originated in dementia care, it has recognised potential to make a huge difference to the lives of people we care for in other care settings. Many people besides those with dementia find it difficult to comment directly about their care. For example, DCM is currently being applied in learning disability services within the UK. The Dementia Care Mapping team was originally formed in April 2005. The social services directorate team accept the evidential means for bringing about change and improvements in care delivery and fully embrace it. They have continued to be committed to supporting its maintenance in the Isle of Man social services, which has led to the team now consisting of 27 ‘mappers’.

The team now comprises a diverse range of professionals with an interest in improving the quality of care in their field, which is to the advantage of service users. The new group included delegates from Scotland and Belgium, proving DCM’s international appeal. The plan for the future is to increase the rolling programme to ‘map’ new care areas (both private and public sector), as well as maintain the current areas.

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