Kennedy Scott staff undertale Dementia Awareness Training

On Thursday 25th July Kennedy Scott staff took part in dementia awareness training, which was undertaken by Dementia Friends on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Society. Everyone who undertook the training came away feeling very much enlightened and looking at dementia in a completely different light. Some of the staff came away confident in becoming Dementia Friends themselves and will now proudly wear their new badge showing everyone they are a Dementia Friend. Being a Dementia Friend doesn’t have to be a big thing, just wearing the badge is a sign that you understand dementia and are willing to help out in any way they can.

The Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends training is a nationwide campaign to change how people act, think and talk about dementia and emphasises how it is possible for an individual to live well with dementia and that the disease should not define a person.

The word 'dementia' describes a set of symptoms that may include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. These changes are often small to start with, but for someone with dementia they have become severe enough to affect daily life. A person with dementia may also experience changes in their mood or behaviour.

Imagine a set of fairy lights. Each light represents a skill or memory. Over time some of the bulbs will begin to flicker on and off and eventually some will blow and turn out completely. The bulbs are affected at random and the order that one string extinguishes is not the same as the next. Dementia behaves in much the same way. Whilst the condition is associated primarily with memory loss, it can also impact communication skills, emotions and perceptions and the course the condition takes is different for each individual.

A great example given to us in the training was that of a resident in a care home in north east England. The resident spent each day methodically tapping her fingers on surfaces in the care home, much to the bemusement of the staff and residents. When her niece came to visit and explained that her Aunt used to be a code breaker at Bletchley Park, the staff realised that the rhythmic tapping was in fact Morse Code. This new understanding sparked conversations between staff and other residents who were fascinated by her wartime experience, a visit from a local Scout group and even the press.

Kennedy Scott will happily recommend the dementia training to all our friends and partners, the training may help you to review how you interact with people suffering from Dementia and consider some simple adjustments that could be made. If you wish to take part in the course you can find more information at the following link: