The Dementia Action Plan for Wales has just been published by Welsh Government.
It is a big improvement from the version that went to consultation. Caerphilly 50+ Forum responded to the consultation (you can see our response HERE). It is good to see that the published Plan has dealt with some of the issues we noted.
The Action Plan makes a strong emphasis on living with dementia in the community and creating dementia friendly communities and improving joint working between health and social services. It can certainly raise the profile of dementia and improve the outcomes for people living with this condition.

The published document (see HERE) contains a number of clear, highlighted statements “WE WILL:” that describe the commitment to the plan. It also sets out what will change as a result of meeting the commitment. These outcomes are reproduced below.

Risk reduction and delaying onset

What will be different:
People understand the steps they can take to reduce their risk, or delay the onset of certain dementias.

Raising awareness and understanding

What will be different:
People understand the challenges faced by people living with dementia and are aware of the actions they can take to support them.

Recognition and identification

What will be different:
People are aware of the early signs of dementia; the importance of a timely
diagnosis; and know where to go to get help.

Assessment and diagnosis

What will be different:
More people are diagnosed earlier, enabling them to plan for the future and to access early support and care if needed.

Living as well as possible, for as long as possible with dementia

What will be different:
People with dementia and their carers and families are able to receive person-centred care and support which is flexible.

The need for increased support

What will be different:
People with dementia, their families and carers, receive person-centred care and support that adapts as the needs of an individual increases

Supporting the implementation

What will be different:
Staff have the skills to help them identify people with dementia and to feel confident and competent in supporting individual’s needs post diagnosis.

Care Homes

Whilst Care Homes are given some coverage, we would like to have seen more action specified, especially given the large numbers of people with dementia living in care homes in Wales. For example, there is no mention about how the quality of life for people with dementia in care homes could be improved and how activities including arts and music, life history awareness etc. can help.
Also, the Plan makes enhanced diagnosis commitments that explicitly cover moving into a care home but do not really say anything about the high proportion of undiagnosed dementia sufferers already in care homes.
(See also the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales 2 reports on Care Homes:)

A Place to Call Home?  A Review into the Quality of Life and Care of Older People living in Care Homes
in Wales

A Place to Call Home:  Impact & Analysis   Assessing progress to improve the quality of life and care
of older people living in care homes in Wales

The Dementia Action Plan commits to a follow up process with an Advisory Group where deficits can be raised. Please let us know if you have any experiences, positive or negative, following the publication of these plans. We can only help key groups understand how they are performing if we get your feedback.

You can contact us HERE.