It is very clear that we have a massive recruitment problem within social care and the NHS, so much so, that we are having to turn to further shores to staff our care homes and hospitals and to care for people in their own homes. The importance here in recruiting and retaining excellent staff is to find what unites us and connects us with these new staff. Language barriers are a key issue, we need to show kindness and compassion to those who will move countries to work here with us in the UK. Imagine how we might feel if we went to work in a different country and had to learn the language quickly, let alone understand all of our different dialects and accents. Training these staff to get up to speed in caring for people living with dementia is vital and we know that in some countries, dementia isn’t recognised as a condition, so there is much to learn.

I mentioned what connects us, and that is often family, loved ones sharing meals and love….oh yes and storytelling.

So instead of expecting our staff to write about caring and professionalism, when they are training, what about helping them learn more with the stories of people who live with dementia, their carers and other staff. We can learn so much through stories and films and listening to podcasts. A friend recently asked me if I thought books and films could help teach empathy……..Just think about your favourite characters in films, TV series, books and think about their experiences, emotions and behaviours and go on to think about what it has taught you.

So why not turn to training our staff through the art of stories- that’s what Finding the Light in dementia does, while also steeped in best practice and research…… and at the same time provides caring and compassionate self help resources for all staff.

I learn all the time from other people’s stories, while often not realising that I am learning, but to recall stories is a great way to exemplify peoples’ needs and how to care with them.