LWDP's Dementia, Dignity and Compassionate Care Conference

LWDP Caring Concept’s Dementia, Dignity and Compassionate Care Conference took place at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens in Edgbaston.

The spectacular glasshouses and breathtakingly beautiful gardens were the perfect tranquil backdrop to what turned out to be a wonderful day.

Andy Bradley, founder of Frameworks 4 Change, started the proceedings with a visionary presentation which focused on the development of compassionate practices. Andy challenged the audience with the concept of evolving a more balanced and integrated approach to caring for ourselves and each other.

Andy’s belief is that when we are vulnerable we should be met with consistent kindness and we must elevate the status of care giving. Andy’s address was both interesting and motivating; sharing techniques and advice on how empathy, compassion and kindness can be cultivated.

Following the morning break and a quick peek at the stunning gardens, Professor Joyce Simard, international geriatric consultant and founder of Namaste Care, took centre stage. Joyce has more than thirty five years of experience in health care settings as a social worker and dementia specialist.

Joyce has developed three programmes to improve quality of life for people with dementia, including a memory-enhancement programme for those with mild to moderate stages of dementia, a programme called the club for nursing home residents in the moderate stage of dementia and Namaste Care for people with advanced dementia.

Joyce’s presentation was captivating, she brought humour and a light touch to a serious subject. Her real life experiences and stories, gathered from travelling all over the world, were compelling and truly remarkable.

The lunch period gave delegates the opportunity to network and speak to Shirley Evans from the Association for Dementia Studies - Worcester University and Wendy Lewis-Cordwell from Bereavement Care Services and Macmillan Cancer Support. Both Shirley and Wendy kindly hosted stands throughout the day, providing the delegates with some helpful and useful resources.

Jan Burns, chair of the National Dignity Council, was welcomed to the conference to deliver an afternoon workshop entitled ‘Making time for Dignity’. This enjoyable and interactive workshop helped to raise awareness of the work of the Dignity Council and explored the impact dignity has on the quality of care being delivered.

This unique and inspirational conference was eloquently brought to a close by Andy Bradley who encouraged everyone to reflect on the day and to rise to the challenge of transforming care by creating a wave of compassion.

Quotes from Delegates: "I will take this back to our organisation. Thank you very much for a truly wonderful, inspirational and informative conference. It will have a great impact on my future career, inspirations & goals."

"Thought provoking. Good reminder that we need to revisit the role of our dignity champions."

"Dignity should be at the centre of every care given and everyone must be a dignity champion"

"Loved Jan's enthusiastic and passionate presentation. Her sharing of her personal and professional experiences touched hearts and motivated us to action." "I am a dignity champion and I deliver training within the organisation. This session was also very informative"