Dementia Heroes: Jackie Pool

If you’ve ever spent time analysing and planning different activities for the different stages of dementia, the chances are you’ve benefited from Jackie Pool’s incredible work.

A leading specialist in dementia care, she sat on the reference group for the National Dementia Strategy and was commissioned by Skills for Care to write the national dementia qualification framework (QCFs). She is also responsible for developing the Pool Activity Level (PAL) Instrument – a framework for care in settings across the UK. The PAL framework is a tool for assessing levels of ability for activities of daily living and for leisure. The instrument also contains profiling tools for interpreting the assessment in order to plan and deliver effective, enabling care and support.

Jackie has dedicated her professional career of more than 30 years to improving the lives of people who are living with dementia. She began as an Occupational Therapy support worker in a Liverpool Hospital in the early 1980’s where she saw at first-hand how services provided to people with dementia could vary from being highly supportive to being undermining of an individual’s wellbeing.

“To me, this showed that something needed to be done to improve care services and I decided that I wanted to help to make a difference to the lives of people with dementia”

She is recognised as a leading dementia specialist and was awarded the National Dementia Care Award 2011 for Best Dementia Care Personality. Her publications about providing support to individuals with dementia and their families are used around the world and Jackie speaks regularly at conferences and through social media networks about the work she continues to develop. She also more recently set up the Dementia Champions Campaign which she hopes will raise the standard in dementia care homes. “When there are so many stories being told about poor care, we can see that much needs to be done to drive up the standards of care given in dementia homes – there needs to be improvements for those receiving care, and for the good reputation of the care providers themselves”.

You can find out more about Jackie, her work with Dementia and the PAL Instrument here.