A GROUP that offers support to older people is working with care home staff to promote the importance of dignity for residents.

Members of Growing Older Living in Darlington (Gold) are hoping to launch accredited training for care homes.

It is hoped the training programme will be up and running in the new year and will give carers an extra qualification, as well as giving them a positive image about ageing.

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The initiative, which started earlier this year, is part of Gold’s campaign to raise awareness of dignity in care.

Volunteers have been working for some time to put together a programme of modules for care staff to complete over a period of time.

Once the outline of the programme has been set it will then be sent off to the relevant organisations for accreditation before it can be implemented in the community.

Councillor Veronica Copeland, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet member for adult social care and housing, said: “Dignity in care has been one of our priorities for some time.

“We have highlighted the need to respect our older residents by holding events to mark national Dignity Action Day every year and now we want to take it further.

“The training is something that Gold volunteers are passionate about.

“As we get a bit older there are a lot of things that we may not be able to do as well as we used to – particularly physical activities. For some people this is difficult enough without being made to feel embarrassed.

“We all need patience, kindness and understanding.

“We are not saying that care home staff don’t treat their residents with dignity, we are saying we want to support them and make life a bit happier for everyone involved.’’ Gold is always on the lookout for volunteers to help out with a range of activities.

For more information, call 01325-388845 or email gold@darlington.gov.uk