Giving Voice for People with Dementia

GV-DementiaThe Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) is running the Giving Voice for People with Dementia campaign to improve the quality of care received by people with dementia, their families and their carers. People with dementia and their carers have a range of needs in communication, safe eating and drinking which should be met by individuals with the appropriate clinical expertise or those who have been trained by people with that expertise

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists calls upon Governments, commissioners, budget holders and care providers to:

  • Recognise the communication and eating, drinking and swallowing needs of people with dementia
  • Ensure people with dementia have access to the speech and language therapy services they need in hospitals, care homes and in their own homes
  • Set the highest standards for the education and training of health professionals, residential and home care staff to understand the communication difficulties experienced by people with dementia and their carers, and to ensure they have the professional speech and language therapy support they need
  • Provide education, support and training for health professionals, care home and agency staff to identify the early signs of eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties, and meet the nutritional needs of people with dementia.

What do Speech and Language Therapists do for People with Dementia?

Speech and language therapists work in a variety of settings supporting those with dementia including specialist memory services, older people’s later life community mental health teams, acute hospital wards, care homes, community services, learning disability services and forensic services.

                     ***WATCH THE RCSLT DEMENTIA VIDEO SERIES***

How can I get involved? 

Meet your decision makers. Arrange to meet your local MP, MSP or assembly member and share your stories about the difference speech and language therapists can make to people with dementia and their families.

Raise awareness in your community. Hold events to raise awareness of speech and language therapy at your local hospital, care homes, universities and at your community events.

Share your stories. Send up your stories of how Speech and Language therapists have provided support to people with dementia and their families.  Sign up to the mailing list to find out more about the campaign. RCSLT members can find information and resources to help their campaign activity here.

Resources:

Read more on dementia on the RCSLT website

Download our leaflet Speech and language therapy works for people with dementia - Scotland.

Download our Dementia and Communication Poster, aimed at GPs and other professionals, to display.

Download our Supporting people with dementia leaflet for commissioners

Print off our Key information leaflet, designed for decision makers.

Download the Giving Voice for people with dementia leaflet

If you require hard copies of these leaflets to use at events, please get in touch.

Key facts

  • There are more than 800,000 people in the UK with dementia and this is set to rise to 1 million by 2021;
  • In Scotland there are 88,000 people with dementia, 19,000 in Northern Ireland, 45,000 in Wales and 665,000 in England;
  • The chance of developing dementia increases with age – one in 14 over 65 years of age and one in six people over 80 has dementia;
  • Dementia is more common in women than men;
  • More than 17,000 people under 65 I in the UK has early-onset or young-onset dementia;
  • It affects all social groups as well as all ethnic groups;
  • The incidence of dementia in adults with learning difficulties is higher than in older adults in the general population;
  • Dementia costs the economy £23 bn a year – more than cancer, stroke or heart disease combined;
  • The UK Government is committed to spend £66 m on dementia research by 2015 – but this is still only one eight of what is spent on cancer research in the UK.
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