Calderdale Council is looking to further its support for people with dementia, with staff undertaking training to better understand the condition and help those living with dementia to remain active members of their communities for longer.
Dementia is a growing challenge, with over 850,000 people in the UK currently living with the condition. In Calderdale, there are almost 3000 people living with dementia, with this figure expected to rise to well over 4000 by 2035. Over the coming years, many more people accessing Council services will either have dementia or will care for someone who does.
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As part of work to improve the understanding of dementia, Council staff recently took part in Virtual Dementia Tour training, which allows people to experience what dementia might be like.
Invented 20 years ago in America, the Virtual Dementia Tour has now been in the UK for the past three years. It’s already been adopted by care providers, NHS Trusts, councils, the Fire Service, Police Service, Prisons Services and many more organisations, and is changing the lives of so many who are supporting people with dementia.
Around 40 people took part in the Calderdale training, which gave attendees an insight into the effects dementia has on daily living to improve their understanding of the condition.
The training complements the considerable progress which has been achieved over the last few years in providing support and care for people with dementia, their families and carers.
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The next steps, as Calderdale continues to work towards becoming a Dementia Friendly Borough, will include increasing the number of dementia friendly communities from the current six and engaging with people with dementia to establish their aspirations and identify how support can improve to meet these.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults’ Services and Wellbeing, Coun Bob Metcalfe, said: “Dementia can affect anyone at anytime and the number of people suffering with this cruel disease is increasing all the time.
“Together with a number of key partners in Calderdale, including the Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group and the Alzheimer’s Society, we’re committed to continuing to improve the services and support available for people with dementia and their carers/families. We’re also working with Calderdale Dementia Friendly Community, whose key aim is to support groups and organisations to help make Calderdale a Dementia Friendly Borough.
“The recent training event was quite an experience for me and gave an idea of what living with dementia is like so we can understand some of the frustrations people with dementia face as well as opportunities we can take to improve our level of care and support.”
To find out more about dementia and the support that is available, visit www.nhs.uk.