Young people from a Bridgwater based college have been meeting care home residents and team members to gain a better understanding of dementia.
Students from Bridgwater and Taunton College, in the Bridgwater Centre, have gained a powerful insight into what life is really like living and caring for a loved one with dementia at Sanctuary Care’s The Rosary Nursing Home in Mayfield Drive.
Level two and three students, who are studying health and social care and their work placement co-ordinator Helen Acland, have all become Dementia Friends – an initiative from the Alzheimer’s Society, thanks to training delivered by the care home’s team.
The Dementia Friends session showed the 16 to 19-year-olds the small things they can do, within their community or in their future jobs, that can make a huge difference to the lives of people living with dementia – and for many of the students it was the first time they saw first-hand what life is really like living with dementia.
Helen Acland said: “It is so important that everyone, including young people, understand dementia and appreciate how they can help. We believe everyone in their lifetime will come to face dementia at some point throughout their life – whether it’s with themselves, a friend, loved one or simply being a carer, and that’s why understanding is integral. No one should feel alone and I’m proud how well our students took to the training – they really listened and took it fully on board.”
19-year-old student, Erin Lloyd said: “The Dementia Friends session was really insightful. I did know about dementia but actually understanding how difficult simple things become, like making a cup of tea, is really eye-opening, and I now just want to get out there and support as many people as possible.”
Along with the training, students joined the team, who deliver nursing and dementia care, to meet the home’s residents.
The Sanctuary Care home’s manager Natali Edwards said: “We really are championing the Dementia Friends initiative – my team including care staff, receptionists, administrators and catering assistants are all proud Dementia Friends and it’s now wonderful we are reaching people outside of the home.
“The students were lovely and so respectful and I do hand on heart believe they will also champion the initiative and tell their loved ones and friends all about it. We all have one aim and that’s to make Bridgwater as dementia friendly as possible and I feel we are making a genuine difference.”