Caregivers across Edinburgh came together on Wednesday 12 June to celebrate Johns Campaign and highlight the work undertaken over the last year.
John’s Campaign was founded in November 2014 by writers Nicci Gerrard and Julia Jones and endorsed by the NHS in 2016. It was established in memory of Nicci’s father John Gerrard who had Alzheimer’s. After being hospitalised with leg ulcers, caregiver access was restricted which left John and his carers distressed and he sadly passed away while in hospital.
John’s Campaign recognises the important role of those family members who care for people who are living with dementia. Behind its simple statement of purpose lies the belief that carers should not just be allowed but should be welcomed, and that a collaboration between the person living with dementia and all connected with them is crucial to their health and their well-being.
Currently within Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership, 65 care homes (statutory, independent and voluntary) pan Edinburgh promote and support Johns Campaign.
The pledge made by all Edinburgh care homes states:
‘Care homes in Edinburgh welcome and support carers of people living with dementia, or other life limiting conditions. We understand that as a carer your knowledge and expertise can make a huge difference to how people become comfortable and contented within our care homes. If you wish we would encourage you to be involved in aspects of planning and delivering effective person centred care for the person as you know them best’.
One care home highlights a small but significant change in line with Johns Campaign:
‘We have had some excellent interactions with family members. One entire family moved in for the week leading up to a Residents death – we gave them a lounge ( which was conveniently next to their mothers room) and they stayed here with us using staff showers, being fed by the kitchen and spending very special time together. Another gentleman comes to see his wife and have his meals with her. Another visitor comes every Wednesday to have breakfast with his friend. Our door is never closed and visitors know they can come and see their loved one/ friends whenever they would like to.’
Scottish Care, as the representative body for independent sector social care services, supports and encourages the adoption of the Johns Campaign.
This carers’ week we want people to know that we will support and encourage them if they would like to be involved in providing care. The role and experience of families, friends, and carers have supporting and comforting people through any illness, but critically dementia, is absolutely invaluable.