Compassionate care and how to provide it

Amanda Waring, filmmaker, campaigner, writer and inspirational speaker uses her award winning films, training packs, talks and books to provide vital solutions for improving dementia care.

It Is so important to maintain dignity and to have an understanding of frailty and its consequences and to be aware of how much involving an older person in their care restores their sense of self worth. Dignity conserving care means addressing attitudes and behaviour.

My short training film, ‘What do you see?’, powerfully demonstrates the damaging effect that the lack of dignified care has on Virginia Mckenna’s character  as she is being bathed roughly, talked over, not addressed by her name, spoon fed as if she was a baby, dismissed as if she was invisible. Within ten minutes viewers are moved, often to tears, as they understand the consequences of thoughtless and disrespectful care. I believe that a change in behaviour and attitudes can happen that much quicker when the emotions are involved and we engage with the personal story of another, seeing them with their own history their own rights, as if they were your mother, grandmother, or even yourself in years to come. It is vital that we implement, understand and maintain Dignity in care and my films, training pack and book are there to show you how.

Within my ‘What Do You See’ dignity training pack there are inspirational solutions to support and express dignified care in communication, at mealtimes, during personal care for example and ways to evolving and maintain dignity standards. Films, poetry and music enhance the learning experience making it enjoyable training, for I believe that a carrot not stick approach is needed particularly where there is so much negative reporting of poor care. I campaign for positive news and the need to value our elders but also equally those who care for them need respect and to be valued. 

My book the Heart of Care (Souvenir Press) explores the challenges that prevent dignified care, including how to prevent burnout , and the importance of honouring our Elders. The book is a distillation of the talks that I give around the world and of my work as a board member on the national dignity council (www.dignityincare.org.uk) which provides a positive network and ideas sharing to ensure we place dignity at the heart of care.

Remember that small actions can make a big difference

For more information visit www.amandawaring.com.