Health and care partners in Gloucestershire are re-launching their ‘Red Information Folder’ to coincide with Dementia Action Week, which takes place from 20-26 May 2019.
The pack provides useful information and resources for people living with dementia.
It was originally developed over a year ago with the involvement of people with dementia and their carers and has already proven to be very successful.
The newly updated resource contains the following:
- A dementia information sheet
- A visitor book
- This Is Me leaflet
- Advance Statement of Wishes and Preferences
- Factsheet about advanced decisions and statements
- Herbert Protocol form
All of these documents provide key information to support people with dementia and their families. For example, having a visitor book will enable different services to be aware of how the person is being supported and help avoid duplication. It will also help the person with dementia and their family to keep track of who is involved in their care. The Herbert Protocol is a national scheme introduced by the police working with other agencies which encourages family, friends and carers to put together useful information about a person’s routines, medical requirements and favourite places which can then be used if a person with dementia goes missing. The form can be handed over to the police without the worry of collecting the information together during a stressful time. This is Me is a leaflet which provides professionals with information about a person with dementia, to enhance the care they receive when in an unfamiliar environment.
A number of organisations involved in the development of the folder are signed up to promoting and offering it under the ‘One Gloucestershire’ banner, including 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Gloucestershire CCG, and the Gloucestershire Alzheimer’s Society.
Susan Morton, who helped in the development of the Red Folder, said: ‘My mother developed dementia about three years ago. At the time I was completely unaware of what to do or who to approach. I felt quite helpless. Any information that I was given was incidental or by chance.
“The Red Folder is exactly what I needed, providing a comprehensive list of agencies and sources of help. Had it been available at the time, it would have prevented a great deal of anxiety and delay.”
Shara Spragg, whose step-mother was diagnosed with dementia, said: “When families and friends are met with a life changing ‘event’ there is a maze of information and decision making processes to go through.
“For me to support my parent, the process of understanding dementia and the support available was trial and error; research; talking to health professionals and word of mouth from friends. We are very fortunate that NHS Gloucestershire has invested valuable time in creating a ‘One Gloucestershire Dementia Information Pack’.
“It is an extremely useful ‘one stop’ consolidated list of advice; services; support (health, welfare, financial, legal) and contacts available in Gloucestershire and nationally.”
Kathy Holmes, who works for ²gether NHS Foundation Trust’s Managing Memory Together Service, said: “The service diagnoses around 1000 people a year with dementia. Each person and their family is given a Red Folder. We want to avoid duplication of information and this folder enables us to work with other organisations to give the best information possible to people with dementia and their carers. We are delighted that in the latest version we are now including the Herbert Protocol and that we are able to provide people with a Lions Club Message in a Bottle.”
The Lions Club Message in a Bottle is a simple idea designed to encourage people to keep their personal and medical details in a common location – the fridge. Emergency services will know to look for the bottle in the event of being called to someone’s home. A note will be included in the Red Folder that people can complete and place in the bottle stating where the Red Folder is kept in the person’s home.
For more information about the Red Information Folder please contact Managing Memory Together on 0800 694 8800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Gloucestershire Alzheimer’s Society on 01452 525222 or email email@example.com.