With an ageing population and improving diagnosis, dementia is something that will almost inevitably touch all of us, either personally or professionally or both.
As part of the national scheme ‘Herbert Protocol’ all police officers are required to have an understanding of dementia. They are increasingly being called out within the community to help when a vulnerable adult goes missing and need the skills to minimise the distress of both the individual and their family.
Silk Healthcare’s care home Reuben Manor looks after many residents with dementia and with that expertise and experience the home manager Julie Peyton was asked to deliver a training session for Police Constables and PCSOs from Cleveland Police. The aim was to equip them with an understanding of dementia in order to best support the community they serve. They received information on what Dementia is, advice and tips on how to communicate with someone who has dementia, using case studies and scenarios to create real life situations officers might find themselves in.
Julie delivered the free Dementia Awareness session to the officers at the Stockton Police Station and said “These Dementia Awareness sessions are really useful for anyone interested in understanding more about dementia. We focused on Alzheimer’s disease, behaviors that challenge and communication. Police officers can come in to contact with people with dementia in a variety of situations and they are asked to respond when a person with dementia has gone missing. By delivering these sessions to people in the community, we are helping to make the local area more dementia aware.”
One of the Police Community Support Officers Jane and a Police Sergeant Phillip have said it is important that officers are trained to recognise the signs and symptoms of the condition so they are better able to communicate effectively with any given situation. And that it was a really useful and informative session for their staff because they need to be able to identify with a person who has dementia and it gave them a helpful insight into the signs to look out for.
Staff from Silk Healthcare care homes have also been working with the local school in their areas to raise awareness of dementia amongst the young.