Belfast Telegraph

Poots recognises outstanding support given by dementia carer

A carer from North Belfast has been recognised for her outstanding work with local people with dementia at the inaugural Northern Ireland Dementia Excellence awards in Belfast’s Stormont Hotel.

Edwin Poots MLA, Minster of Health, Social Services and Public Safety for Northern Ireland awarded Lisa Forbes with ‘Carer of the Year’ at the event which was organised by the Dementia Services Development Centre Northern Ireland (DSDC).

He commented, “I would like to congratulate the winners of each award. It is a mark of how highly regarded you are within your chosen profession that you have received these awards today. Your contribution and commitment to improving the lives of people living with dementia has been deservedly recognised and rewarded.”

Dementia Services Development Centre Northern Ireland (DSDC), which is linked to the DSDC at the University of Stirling received numerous entries but Lisa’s nomination shone through on behalf of her relentless dedication over the last 14 years to providing excellent dementia care. 

Lisa’s mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 14 years ago, and along with her family looked after her at home until she was moved to EMI units. Lisa even with her own disabilities bravely removed her mum from care to continue looking after her at home. Sadly her mother passed away on 26 December 2011. Lisa is passionate about dementia care and has been heavily involved since, even writing to the Health Minster expressing her concerns for carers and people with dementia in Northern Ireland.

Professor June Andrews, Director of DSDC said, “These awards provide a rare opportunity to recognise the contributions of professionals and carers alike.  Given the strength of the applications these were tough decisions.  DSDC is all about working with others to improve the lives of people with dementia.  The winners are to be congratulated for making a real difference to people’s lives by actually putting into practice what we know works well.”

The awards were part of the Dementia 2012 seminar which involved up to 270 health and social care workers from mostly Health Trusts and private organisations, with a few voluntary organisations represented.

Funding was provided by DHSSPS and Atlantic Philanthropies to make this a free event with the aim of celebrating and sharing the good working practice in Dementia care within Northern Ireland.

The event included an address from Fionnuala Mc Andrew OBE, Director of Social Care and Children from the Health and Social Care Board and a video clip from Claire Keatinge, Commissioner for Older People in Northern Ireland as well as interactive workshop sessions from dementia experts on training, research, arts and dementia friendly design.

Other awards categories included – Dementia Friendly Organisation, Support Worker of the Year, Team of the Year, Dementia Design Innovation of the Year, Education and Training Programme, Dementia and the Arts and Support Worker of the Year.

The Dementia Services Development Centre in Belfast has been operational for 5 years. It has been funded by Atlantic Philanthropies and the Department Health, Social Services and Public Safety. It provides training and consultancy for anyone working with people with dementia by providing a range of training programmes.

More information on the work of Dementia Services Development Centre Northern Ireland can be found at www.dementiacentreni.org

There are currently 19,000 people living with dementia in Northern Ireland, this figure is expected to rise to 61,000 by 2051.



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