Dementia Friends equipped to help

LEARNING: A Dementia Friends information session at Belmore Lodge in Lymington
LEARNING: A Dementia Friends information session at Belmore Lodge in Lymington

With a million people in the UK expected to have dementia by 2025, we’ve stepped up our support for the Dementia Friends programme led by the Alzheimer’s Society.

We believe that people who undergo a one-off, one-hour Dementia Friends information session are better equipped to understand the needs and capabilities of those living with the condition.

Last year we began running monthly sessions led by trained volunteers who give an overview of dementia, discuss how it affects people and explain how we can best help in practical ways.

Participants, who need no previous experience of dementia, include our staff, residents, relatives, friends and community contacts.

We chose this year’s Dementia Awareness Week to strengthen the two strands of activity we’re following.

The first is to give all our 1,800 employees, not only those at our dementia homes, the chance to become Dementia Friends.

We have now set a target that by February next year, 80% of our entire workforce will have attended an information session.

It’s a percentage we aim to sustain into the future.

The second is for each of our 20 homes to run regular Dementia Friends sessions for the benefit of their local communities as well as our staff.

To achieve these goals, we’re asking for more volunteers across the business to become Dementia Friends Champions, and be able to run the sessions. Champions receive a one-day induction and ongoing support from us and the Alzheimer’s Society.

Elaine Farrer, Operations Director, said: “We are all likely to come into contact with more and more people and their families who are living with dementia.

“We want everyone at our homes to have a little more insight and understanding so they are better equipped to help.”

Watch the video

videocameraWe’ve produced a video giving more information on becoming a Dementia Friend. If you would like to volunteer to become a Dementia Friends Champion, visit www.ColtenCare.co.uk/dementiafriends

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