Having policies and procedures to safeguard adults is a legal requirement under the Care Act 2014. Safeguarding means protecting an adult’s right to live in safety, free from abuse and neglect.
It involves a leap of imagination to think that a family member or friend (or indeed a volunteer) might be mistreating someone attending a group. However there must always be an awareness that people with dementia are extremely vulnerable and that families often feel stressed and unable to ask for help.
It is also the case that people who choose to work with people with dementia may very occasionally do so for malign reasons and therefore we all have a duty to monitor each other’s actions.
Dementia Active’s policies are designed to support people who attend groups, its volunteer team and group leaders as well as families. Group leaders are required to attend training by Oxfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board (OSAB) and complete online dementia awareness training by SCIE (Social Care Institute for Training and Excellence). Volunteers are also encouraged to do the latter course in order to improve their skills and knowledge base.
Group leaders and volunteers have a joint responsibility to:
● Be aware of changes in a person’s behaviour. Do not assume this is dementia related. Does the person appear unhappy when they arrive and perhaps more significantly when they are about to leave?
● Notice any changes in their appearance, clothing, cleanliness from week to week.
● Notice any signs of injury and record these as soon as possible. Ask the person how this happened.
● Always report concerns immediately to the group leader.
● Write down whatever the client said which raised concerns - as soon as possible and ensure that they feel understood.
● If a person expresses fear about returning home there may be a need to contact the Oxfordshire County Council Adult Emergency Duty team - see below, in order to seek advice.
Identify and define the main forms of abuse
Everyone involved with Dementia Active must be aware of the different categories of abuse which people with dementia are most likely to be at risk of:
Physical abuse- including pushing, slapping, misuse of medication, restraint, or inappropriate physical sanctions.
Psychological abuse- including emotional abuse, threats of harm or abandonment, deprivation of contact, humiliation, blaming, controlling, verbal abuse, withdrawal of services or supportive networks.
Neglect and acts of omission- including ignoring medical, emotional or physical care needs; failure to provide access to appropriate health care; omitting to provide adequate nutrition, medication and heating.
Organisational abuse- including neglect and poor care practice within a care setting or hospital or care provision at home. It may be as a result of poor professional practice within an organisation.
Discriminatory abuse- including harassment, ill treatment because of race, gender or gender identity, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation and crucially. as a result of a diagnosis of dementia.
Financial or material abuse- including theft, fraud, telephone scams, coercion in relation to financial arrangements, misappropriation of property, possessions or benefits.
Contact numbers in the event of a problem
● Andy Gill, Dementia Active 07711891028
● Oxfordshire Safeguarding Adults Board - If you’ve encountered an issue and are unsure if it is a safeguarding issue or not you can call and request a consultation with the Safeguarding Triage Team. They can be reached on 01865 328232
● In the event of an emergency, call either 999 or Oxfordshire - Adult Emergency Duty Team on 0800 833 408.
Andy Gill 11/8/19
Review date 11/8/2