There are lots of ways Allied Health Professionals (AHP) can help people living with dementia and their families.
What is an Allied Health Professional?
‘Allied Health Professional’ is a collective term for a variety of different health care professionals, including Arts Therapists, Dietitians, Occupational Therapists, Orthopists, Orthotist, Paramedics, Physiotherapists, Podiatrists Prosthetists, Radiographers, and Speech and Language Therapists.
AHPs can all help in different ways to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia. All AHPs will most probably meet someone living with dementia at some point in their professional career, but for some such as Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Dietitians and Speech and Language Therapists, working with people living with dementia will be the prime focus of their role.
For example, the work of an Occupational Therapist can enable people to continue to work after a diagnosis. They can suggest adjustments such as reducing background noise, flexibility with breaks, use of memory prompts and organising the desk with only the necessary tools required for the job.
The AHP approach
This AHP approach outlines 5 key areas where Allied Health Professionals can make a positive difference to people living with dementia. While the elements of the AHP approach are described separately, they must be considered collectively within overall universal, targeted and specialist AHP-led rehabilition and for support for people living with dementia.
Our approach is supported by the ‘Connecting People, Connecting Support’ framework, one of the commitments outlined in Scotland’s third National Dementia Strategy (2017-2020) and it is just one of the areas that Alzheimer Scotland is campaigning for key transformational change in.
The Connecting People, Connecting Support framework was published in 2017 and, 24 months following its launch, we chart the progress made in implementing the vision, principles and actions within it. Connecting People, Connecting Support in Action, is an impact report on transforming the allied health professions' contribution to supporting people living with dementia in Scotland.