Housing association The Guinness Partnership has championed unique ‘Bring Dementia Out’ training for employers in the housing and care sectors. Guinness staff are the first professionals in the county to undergo this training.
The need for this training arose from a project developed by the Alzheimer’s Society. The project brought to light the additional challenges faced by LGBT people living with dementia. Housing and care were areas of concern raised by LGBT people living with dementia, and it was identified that providing additional support and training to the housing and care sectors would help positively address these challenges.
Bring Dementia Out is unique because LGBT people living with dementia are often less visible and data is not collected nationally about how many LGBT people in the UK are living with dementia. By seeking to address these challenges in a practical way, through this training, LGBT people should feel more confident that the right support is available should this ever be needed.
One of the creators of ‘Bring Dementia Out’ is Patrick Ettenes, one of the youngest people in the UK living with dementia and a customer of The Guinness Partnership.
Patrick Ettenes, LGBT Dementia Lived Experience Advisor and Diversity Award Winner 2019, said: “LGBT people are less likely to have a partner, family or next of kin. Therefore, LGBT people face higher levels of isolation and loneliness, leading to extra healthcare needs. ‘Bring Dementia Out’ is my baby and I hope widespread adoption of the training will be my legacy. It should be mandatory for all care and housing staff. When I want something, I fight for it. I want this to become a global movement. But it starts here.”
The LGBT Foundation will begin rolling out the training across the housing and care sectors from November. These employers include; Age UK, Norfolk NHS Trust, Genesis Housing, Foundations, and Dementia Carers Connect.
Delivery to employees of The Guinness Partnership began in September 2020.
Claire Days, programme coordinator at the LGBT Foundation, said:
“LGBT often face healthcare inequalities and we need to understand the root causes of why that is the case, so that we can address them. Care needs to be personalised and suit the needs of the individual, and hopefully that will then improve the experience for all LGBT people living with dementia.”
“My hopes are that we increase the visibility of LGBT people living with dementia, that we continue to build knowledge of the experiences of LGBT people and that we improve support for them, and also those supporting them. We’ve had strong interest from external companies so I’m hopeful we’ll be able to make a real impact nationally”.
Catriona Simons, Group Chief Executive of The Guinness Partnership, said: “We have invested in dementia research for a number of years and so we’re extremely proud to have been part of this vitally important work. I’m grateful to the work of our partners at the LGBT Foundation who have helped make the creation of this training possible. LGBT+ people often face higher levels of isolation and loneliness when living with dementia. We want to ensure our services reflect and respond to everyone’s health and social care needs.”
The course is free to employers for the duration of the programme (until May 2021). To register for sessions contact: lgbt.foundation/bringdementiaout or email: firstname.lastname@example.org