Capital celebrates benefits of John's Campaign during National Carers Week

Caregivers across the Capital have today (Wednesday 12 June) celebrated the anniversary of John’s Campaign in Edinburgh.

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Johns campaign choir

Taking the opportunity during National Carers Week to highlight Edinburgh’s adoption of the movement - which supports the right of carers to stay with  people who have dementia - individual hospitals and care homes in the city have been encouraged to make small but significant changes in line with the campaign.

In the same way that parents can stay with their children in hospital, John’s Campaign advocates carers and family members of dementia patients visiting and staying with their loved ones to provide stable support. Already within the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership, 65 care homes, community hospitals and care of the elderly wards have pledged to promote and support John's Campaign over the last year.

Ricky Henderson, Chair of the Edinburgh Integration Joint Board, said: “John’s Campaign recognises the important role of family members who care for people who are living with dementia. Behind its simple statement of purpose lies the belief that carers should not just be allowed to visit but should be welcomed to be with their loved ones when they are ill.

"It recognises that the connection between someone living with dementia and their carer is crucial to that person’s health and well-being. This Carers Week, we want people to know that we will support and encourage them if they would like to continue to be involved in providing care.”

The John’s Campaign was founded in November 2014 by writers Nicci Gerrard and Julia Jones and endorsed by the NHS in 2016. It was established in memory of Nicci’s father John Gerrard who suffered from Alzheimer’s. After being hospitalised with leg ulcers, caregiver access was restricted which left John and his carers distressed. He sadly passed away while in hospital.

Scottish Care, as the representative body for independent sector social care services, supports and encourages the adoption of the John’s Campaign.

Blenham House Nursing Home in Sighthill highlighted a small but significant change they have made in line with John’s Campaign, saying: “We have had some excellent interactions with family members. One entire family moved in for the week leading up to a resident’s death – we gave them a lounge, which was conveniently next to their mother’s room, and they stayed here with her using the home’s showers, being fed by the kitchen staff and spending very special time together.

"Another gentleman comes to see his wife and have his meals with her. Another visitor comes every Wednesday to have breakfast with his friend. Our door is never closed and visitors know they can come and see their loved ones and friends whenever they would like to.”

Last week, the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership signed up to the Herbert Protocol with Police in Edinburgh, promoting a new way of helping to trace people with dementia who go missing. Find out more about the John’s Campaign at https://johnscampaign.org.uk/#/ and the Herbert Protocol at https://www.scotland.police.uk/your-community/edinburgh/.  

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