Dementia Awareness Week – Truro

Did you know that about 1,000 people live with dementia in Truro and around 5,000 people in Truro are affected by dementia every day?

To raise awareness about Dementia, the steering group of Dementia Friendly Truro, received some training from Truro College and we all became a Dementia Friend.   We were fortunate to have the delightful Anne-Marie come into Truro HQ on Fairmantle Street and spend time with us!

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Dementia Friendly Truro aims to ensure that Truro is accessible, inclusive, welcoming, aware of and responsive to people living with dementia and their carers.  The group aims to establish links with businesses, service providers and people living with dementia in order to develop greater awareness and understanding of dementia issues in our community.  Together we want to make Truro a Dementia Friendly City.  This is one of the Business Improvement Development objectives, to make Truro accessible and appreciate our demographics in our great little City.

5 Key Messages from the training: –

  • Dementia is not a natural part of aging
  • There’s more to the person than the dementia
  • It is possible to live well with dementia
  • Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain
  • Dementia is not just about losing your memory

The Alzheimer’s Society’s has rolled out the Dementia Friends programme and it is their largest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia.   A Dementia Friend learns a little bit more about what it’s like to live with dementia and then turns that understanding into action, it’s about the small ways you can help.  At the end of the session we agreed to do become a Dementia Friend.

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Clare Hall-Davies (L), Sian Knights, Neil Scott, Mark O’Brian

I plan to wear the badge and hopefully have the opportunity to tell businesses about the Dementia Friends initiative.  So when I deliver the quarterly newsletters and the guides around our city, I will try to encourage businesses and organisations to join our Alliance and to take action to improve and increase awareness of dementia.

I found the training interesting in appreciating the layout and ambiance of a business and how this can impact on those with dementia.  For example if a customer, who has dementia comes into the restaurant it is about the service they receive; such as the waiter/waitress being patient, giving eye contact and listening.  Perhaps turn the music down or off so that the customer can concentrate.  Try and make the options clear and not too many choices.  If the customer who suffers from dementia has a good experience, they will leave with a good feeling, even though the next day they may not have remembered what they had eaten.  Dementia can affect vision and space perception, so therefore a black mat can be perceived as a black hole and a rippled swirl in the carpet could look like snakes or water.

At the moment my Forget-me-not flower symbol is in the washing machine tube and I have yet to retrieve it!  However I will find another one shortly and will wear it when I deliver the June quarterly newsletter. #DAW2016

If you would like your business to receive training and become a Dementia Friend, Anne-Marie Young is the Curriculum Lead Social Care & Health at Cornwall College and can be contacted. (See details below). It is for free and great to get your employees to know a little bit more.  There are Social Care & Health Courses which have funding at the moment, such as Dementia Care Level II or Autism, Care Planning and Team Leading (see below).

 

 

 

 

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