With more than 920,000 people in the UK currently diagnosed – and living – with a form of dementia, property restoration specialists, The Forshaw Group, has invested in Dementia Friends Champion training for its team. The aim is to help them understand the challenges that some of their customers might be facing from this debilitating condition.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is the umbrella term for a number of diseases that affect the brain. The most common is Alzheimer’s, but diseases also include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and Pick’s disease.
The most familiar symptoms include loss of memory, changes in behaviour and mood, and problems with communication and reasoning skills. These changes are often small to start with, but for someone with dementia they become severe enough to affect daily life.
Different types of dementia affect the brain at different rates and in different ways, but other things like someone’s personal circumstances, the people around them and the environment in which they live, will affect their experience of dementia. Dementia progresses in a way that is unique to each individual.
How Dementia Friends Champions can help
Dementia Friends Champions are volunteers who encourage others to make a positive difference to people living with dementia in their community. They do this by giving them information about the personal impact of dementia, and what they can do to help. They are part of a network of thousands of other volunteer Dementia Friends Champions creating dementia friendly communities together.
Liam Hanlon, managing director at The Forshaw Group explains: “As a local business, we play an important role in the community and we are always looking at ways we can work with and support our neighbours and our customers more.
“Due to the nature of our work, we are often dealing with people who have experienced a difficult event – be it flood, fire or something else – and might already be feeling emotional. By understanding the impact dementia can have and knowing the symptoms to look out for, means we are able to support our customers better.”
With 6 members of the team already trained as Dementia Friends Champions, there are plans to roll out the training to the rest of the team over the coming months too.