North Wales Fire and Rescue Service supports Dementia Awareness WeekPosted
North Wales Fire and Rescue Service is backing a national campaign in support of dementia awareness this week.
Dementia Awareness Week runs from 14th-20th May and is aimed at encouraging people to talk about their concerns in relation to dementia.
North Wales Fire and Rescue Service recently became the first organisation in the region to receive official recognition as ‘Working to become Dementia Friendly’.
As part of this initiative, the Service actively encourages residents to ensure they are more aware of any relatives, friends or people living within their community who may be suffering from dementia in a bid to improve their safety.
People living with dementia may be at an increased risk of fire due to lack of concentration, short-term memory problems, forgetfulness and confusion about how to use equipment. They may also find it more difficult to escape or understand what is happening if a fire occurs.
The Service has been working in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society to help those living with dementia by ensuring staff have an improved understanding of the problems faced by sufferers. Part of the work has also involved ensuring that the fire and rescue service has an active referral system in place.
A number of staff members have attended dementia awareness sessions to gain a better understanding of dementia and how they can support individuals with the condition. During a home safety check, fire and rescue service staff are trained to refer any individual they encounter who could benefit from further advice and guidance to the Alzheimer’s Society. In the same way, the Alzheimer’s Society can also refer clients who would benefit from a home safety check to the fire and rescue service.
Not only is the collaboration between North Wales Fire and Rescue Service and the Alzheimer’s Society working towards ensuring the safety of those living with dementia within their own home, but it is also helping to develop safe and understanding communities as part of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. The act requires public bodies to think about the long term social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales through working more closely with people and communities and each other.
Llinos Gutierrez-Jones, Human Resource Manager for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said:
“The supportive actions of our staff, made possible by increased awareness, can make a real difference to the safety of those living with dementia.
”The health, safety and wellbeing of people with dementia is really important to us and we are proud to be working with the Alzheimer’s Society to support people living with dementia and their families.
“We as an organisation recognise the value of being Dementia Friendly in recognition of the fact that a growing proportion of the older population who are most at risk from fire are also living with dementia. We hope to work with similar organisations in the future to help protect our communities.”