How the Alzheimer's Society see Making it Real

When Alzheimer’s Society decided to launch our Dementia Friendly Personal Budgets Charter, one of my first thoughts was of Making it Real and its role in supporting person-centred practice. 

Our charter aims to highlight inequalities in the experiences of personalisation by people affected by dementia. We aim to work alongside councils to improve things, so aligning our goals with Making it Real seemed like a logical early step.

My second thought was “Does ‘Making it Real’ still exist?” Thankfully, it does but the fact that I had to ask the question suggested that maybe it had lost some of its profile or impetus.

But since the principles of Making it Real are echoed in both the Care Act and NHS Forward View, there was every reason to be optimistic.

More work to be done across the sector

However if we take a look at the current state of social care it’s clear that there is still much more work to be done across the sector by everyone involved.  Cuts have led to a retreat from some early advances, and the implementation of the Care Act remains patchy. While there is some excellent work, there are also some really appalling stories too. New priorities, mostly reactive to challenges within the system, have arisen and personalisation finds itself having to win new arguments.

Resources undoubtedly impact on what is possible, but money should never in itself be justification for denying individual choice, control and agency. In tough times, necessity must become the mother of invention across systems, within organisations and amongst individuals and their networks.

Making it Real = Keeping it Real

A new Making it Real must therefore mean “keeping it real”. It must find ways to marry the rhetoric of its ambition with the harsher realities of financial constraint and increasing demand. I certainly believe it can be done.

It’s surely no coincidence that Think Local Act Personal have chosen this moment to revisit, update and reinvigorate Making It Real. The plain speaking, open, practical and outcomes focused approach is needed now more than ever.

Making it Real has ingredients for successful sector change

By pooling all available resources and capital, a personalised and sustainable future is still possible. Individuals, statutory services, the third sector and communities all need to come together around a common co-produced strategy. Focusing on integration and creating enabling cultures will be key.

We know this works. We know people who have made it work for them and there are trailblazing providers embracing innovation and transformation with an entrepreneurial zeal. 

However, this remains the exception not the rule, particularly for people affected by dementia. Until it becomes the default experience of life following a diagnosis, the work must go on.

Therefore I’d say a refreshed and reinvigorated Making It Real seems to me to be an excellent place from which to proceed. We are ready to play our part and help ensure its future is as impactful as its past.

Would you agree?



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