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Friends of the Elderly – Finalist in The Caring UK Awards 2023

Charity’s Dementia Champions Recognised For Their Commitment And Passion

Friends of the Elderly, the Charity which runs care homes, day care services and a grant giving service for older people living on low incomes throughout England, is in the running for a prestigious national award.

The Charity has been shortlisted in The Dementia Team of the Year Award category at the Caring UK Awards 2023, which recognise excellence and achievement within the Care Sector across the UK.

Commenting on being a Finalist, Friends of the Elderly’s Chief Operating Officer, Mark Wilson said: We want everyone we support within our care homes and day care services to have the best experience we can possibly provide, which is why we have developed our Dementia Education Programme. Every member of the Friends of the Elderly team is involved.

“Our Dementia Champions know how important it is to remember that each person they support is an individual with individual life experiences. They spend time with every resident or service user they support, they find out about their backgrounds, interests and hobbies which forms a solid foundation. A bond is made, and trust is built. A resident or service user living with dementia may not remember their Dementia Champion’s name, but they know they are there to help and support them.”

Friends of the Elderly’s Head of Marketing and Communications, Jessica Dean added: “We partnered with Professor Dawn Brooker and Worcester University’s renowned Association for Dementia Studies to help develop our unique Dementia Education Programme. We now have 66 Dementia Champions throughout Friends of the Elderly, and colleagues across all levels of the Charity – from our Trustees to our Domestic Team – have attended our Dementia Education Programme. Our Chief Executive, Steve Allen, is also a Dementia Champion.

“All of our Dementia Champions are exceptionally passionate about their work, encouraging independence, giving reassurance, support and help, inspiring communication, creativity, interactions and providing bespoke care with dignity that meets each individual’s needs. They complement services within their own care setting and are role models for colleagues and support them in delivering high quality, person-centred care to people living with dementia. The Dementia Champions also playing a key role in raising awareness, knowledge and understanding of dementia and its symptoms.

Friends of the Elderly’s Dementia Champions strive to demystify dementia to those who are either living with or supporting a loved one who is living with dementia. They offer help and guidance when needed about different ways to support and communicate with people living with dementia, in ways which will maintain and enhance their relationships, demonstrating sensitivity and empathy to an individual’s needs.

The Caring UK Awards are organised by Script Events in conjunction with leading care industry magazine, Caring UK, with support from headline sponsor Virgin Money.

An Awards Spokesperson said: “Never has there been a more appropriate time to recognise the amazing and selfless contribution that our carers make and how they have given so much to protect and care for their residents in the face of unprecedented challenges.”

In each category up to seven finalists have been selected and they will now go through to the next stage of the judging process. The winners will be revealed at a glittering awards ceremony at The Athena in Leicester on Thursday, December 7th when the industry will gather to salute all that is great about the Care Sector.

“Being a Finalist in the Caring UK Award for Dementia Team of the Year is a huge achievement for Friends of the Elderly. The Charity has worked so hard to develop the Dementia Education Programme and we are hugely proud of our colleagues who are helping to support people living with dementia. To win this prestigious award would be a testament to our care colleagues’ commitment to caring compassionately for all the older people the Charity supports,” Jessica added.

We are proud of the approach we have taken to support our residents and service users who are living with dementia. Through our Dementia Education Programme, our teams and Dementia Champions, we are able to deliver tailored care that supports each person, focusing on their individual abilities that encourages and helps each person to continue living as independently as possible with fulfilled and happy lives,” Mark concluded.

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