As we’ve often mentioned before, in Adult Social Care we provide over 900 services and work with over 650 partner organisations. What does that tell us? It tells us that we support a lot of different people in partnership with a lot of different organisations. For the 40,000 residents Adult Social Care helps to support, that could mean 40,000 different needs, different wants, different priorities and different views. We are, after all, unique. We are all individuals.
And so, when we asked the question, ‘what does a Better Life in Leeds mean for you?’ at the Equalities Assembly event yesterday, unsurprisingly, no two answers were exactly the same. As unique as people’s handwriting were on the feedback, there were definite similarities however; common threads bound together by similar wants: a want of independence, dignity and respect; having the right support when needed. A list of the feedback can be found here and thank you to everyone who took the time to complete this.
The Adult Social Care Local Account, (published in October) will give a far more detailed report of what we’re doing to make lives better for the people of Leeds – Better Lives Lived. Here, however, is a sample in line with the responses received yesterday.
- Adaptations for your home so you can live there longer. Click here for our services
- Telecare – providing a 24-hour monitoring of a person using sensors. So, if you fall, for example, help will be on its way. Please click here for more information
- Community support – if you have difficulty with daily tasks and would benefit from support to enable you to stay independent, help is available. Click here to see how.
- Community meals – delivered straight to your door. Click here for more information.
Dignity – Championing Dignity in Care
Dignity Champions are volunteers that are trained to carry out unannounced ‘dignity audits’ at residential care homes in Leeds to monitor dignity and respect towards older people. They observe personalised care, talk to residents, staff and managers and then use the findings to improve standards and the quality of care across the whole service.
Leeds City Council, in partnership with the NHS and local older people, developed the Dignity in Care campaign in 2007. This promised to be a commitment from both organisations to ensure that dignity and respect continue to be embedded into all our services. The campaign was recognised with a national award in 2008 and has gone from strength to strength ever since with other local authorities, most recently Northern Ireland and Nottingham City Council, wanting to learn more about what we’re doing in Leeds.
A key part of its success is the fundamental work of our specially recruited and trained older volunteers. These volunteers provide invaluable support to residents and are trusted to discuss sensitive and peer related issues. So far, the existing volunteers have completed 51 visits to independent homes for residential, nursing and dementia care.
All new volunteers attend an induction programme which includes information about safeguarding and care with dignity. Volunteers are also able to access the full range of training offered by Adult Social Care’s Organisational Development team such as awareness training for dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, the Mental Capacity Act, infection control, end of life care, improving nutritional care, etc.
Dignity Champion, Angela Lawson said:
“The overall experience has been very good for me. I was able to use my skills as a retired nurse to do something positive to improve the lives of other older people. Often older people’s views can be seen as lip service, but what’s good about this work is that it really makes a difference. All the staff we worked with seemed very committed to improving the standards of care and they genuinely wanted to hear what older people were saying.”
As mentioned yesterday, if you would like to share what a ‘Better life in Leeds’ means for you, please do what the members at the Equalities Assembly event did yesterday, and share it with us (firstname.lastname@example.org).