South of Scotland MSP Colin Smyth and Dementia Friends Scotland have teamed up to become ‘Dementia Friends’.
Dementia Friends is programme through multiple partners including Alzheimer’s Scotland that help train and educate groups across Scotland about dementia, its impact and how best to manage when dealing with individuals with dementia. It is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia and aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition.
Colin Smyth MSP, who is Shadow Health Minister for Scottish Labour said:
“The tag line from Dementia Friends is ‘turning understanding into action’ and that is exactly what we achieved with this training session.
Holding advice surgeries across the region and meeting people from all walks of life means I come across families struggling with dementia as well as other progressive illnesses. This training has been hugely helpful in helping me and my team communicate and assist people with dementia.
We need to change the way we perceive dementia. Although it brings huge challenges, thousands of people in our region live hugely fulfilling lives with dementia and we all have a role in helping them achieve that. The work Alzheimer Scotland through the Dementia Friends initiative is fantastic and gives people working in a whole host of environments and members of the public the tools to handle and make live a bit easier for people living with dementia. Having a little knowledge about dementia and how best to work with people with dementia goes a long way to making living with the condition more manageable for all and I would encourage all local organisations and employers to have their staff trained. The number of people with dementia in the region is set to rise so more and more workplaces will come across someone with dementia needing that little bit extra support.”
Jill Rennie, the Dumfries and Galloway community worker said:
“My role as a locality worker is to engage with people living with dementia, their careers and families, local groups and businesses. Our aim is to ensure that everyone in Dumfries and Galloway say they live in an enabling, supportive community and feel valued and understood. Having local MSP offices like Colin’s being dementia aware but trained and able to assist people with dementia is great”.