A CAMPAIGN has been launched to ensure dignity in care for the elderly.
The poster campaign, by Kirklees Council and NHS Kirklees, highlights the need within local care services to treat older people with respect.
The initiative comes following the Department of Health’s dignity in care campaign to encourage a zero tolerance approach to the disrespect and abuse of older people.
The council and NHS Kirklees have made dignity of care a priority for their organisations.
They believe that involving people who use services and carers is an important next step in ensuring dignity of care in health and social care.
The posters show elderly local people who receive services and demonstrate how they have rich life experiences and shouldn’t just be seen as people of a certain age who need help.
They also carry quotes about what older people expect from health and social care services.
Tackling negative attitudes towards the elderly is a major focus for Kirklees Council and NHS Kirklees.
Both organisations have carried out dignity audits, often led by older people asking questions, in order to raise standards in hospitals and care homes.
Clr Shabir Pandor, joint lead cabinet member for adult services, said: “The council has developed strong local branches of the national network of dignity champions set up by the Department of Health.
“Dignity champions help by keeping dignity in care high on the agenda. We are constantly encouraging more people to get involved and sign up to this important campaign.
“Together with staff and partner agency colleagues we can help tackle this issue just by visiting local people in our areas and talking to residents, as well as listening and looking.
“Together we can stop the abuse of older vulnerable people. Safeguarding (them) is everyone’s business.
The initiative asks people who work in health and social care to identify problems and put themselves in the shoes of others.
If they think someone is not being treated with dignity and respect it is their responsibility to do something about it.
Sheila Dilks, director of patient care and professions for NHS Kirklees, said: “Everyone is entitled to respect and maintenance of their dignity, especially when they are at their most vulnerable.
“NHS Kirklees is committed to working with partner organisations, carers and individuals to make sure no one has less than optimal care or has their dignity compromised in any way.”
For more information on becoming a dignity in care champion visit: www.dh.gov.uk