We support Dementia Friends and our team has received dementia friends training. Dementia Friends, is an iniative run by the Alzheimer’s Society aiming to change the perception of dementia. It also gives members of the public the chance to learn how to support people living with dementia.
As local carpet and upholstery cleaners in Lichfield we work in a lot of people’s homes. We decided to do the Dementia Friends training so our clients can feel comfortable asking us to give a quote, or go and do a job in the home of someone living with dementia. As individuals we wanted to know more, so we can do more to support people and their families.
What We Learned
The training took about an hour and a half, and was delivered by Rebecca Head, a solicitor at Lichfield based firm Four Oaks Legal Services. Rebecca has been a Dementia Friends Champion for many years, and she took us through the training in a way that was easy to understand. She allowed us to ask questions and discuss our experiences of meeting people with dementia. This combination of formal learning, discussion and a couple of fun exercises really got the key points across.
The training covered five key messages. We thought the most important message as this. It is possible to live well with dementia. This is a great comfort as it is predicted that a million of us in the UK will be living with dementia by 2024.
The other messages were. Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain. Its not just Alzheimer’s that causes dementia, other diseases, such as Parkinsons lead to it too, and there is not just one type of dementia. Dementia is not a natural part of ageing. This surprised us as we were guilty of assuming that only older people were affected. We were also surprised to learn that its not just about memory loss. Dementia can affect how a person thinks and solves problems. For example, they may struggle doing everyday tasks like folding up clothes, or paying at the supermarket checkout. So, having some empathy and patience when we see someone taking a bit longer getting served will help them, and keep our blood pressure down! And finally, and this is another big one. There is more to a person than the dementia.
How We Support Dementia Friends
The kind of things we have put into practice include. Making a point of involving the person living with dementia in the conversation when we go to give a quote for carpet cleaning in Lichfield. People must feel involved in their own life. Our technicians make a point of speaking to them when we go to do the job. Our technicians are mindful that they may need to move into another room, so we make sure they are safe. We do everything we can to be flexible and accommodate any special requests their family may have.
Another big lesson we learned is that even if a person can’t communicate very well, or they don’t remember who we are. They will remember how we made them feel. We want all our clients to feel special, and know we care. Whether they are living with dementia or experiencing any other challenge in their lives. You can be assured will always be tactful and caring.
The Next Step
As Dementia Friends each have personal actions we committed to during the training. Knight & Doyle as a business has an overall action, to spread the word about Dementia Friends, which is what we are doing in this blog! If you want to become a Dementia Friend you can contact Tracy at Four Oaks Legal Services to arrange a training session with Rebecca. Or you can follow this link to the Dementia Friends website. The training is completely free of charge.
We have a login to Dementia Friends, giving us access to videos and other information so we keep up to date. We will be developing our relationship with the Alzheimer’s Society, so watch this space.
For all your carpet and upholstery cleaning in Lichfield please contact us for a no obligation quote or just some advice, we are happy to help.