SCOTLAND’S fastest growing dental group has committed to training more than 160 dentists and over 300 employees to become recognised as Dementia Friends.
Clyde Munro has partnered with the Dementia Friends initiative, run by Alzheimer Scotland, to provide comprehensive access to bespoke information sessions for its teams, helping increase understanding and awareness of the condition across Scotland.
A Dementia Friend is somebody that learns about dementia and develops an understanding of the condition in order to help and support those living with it.
The first 20 staff at Clyde Munro have now completed their session at the group’s flagship practice in Glasgow City, ahead of the initiative being rolled out to the rest of the 32 practices in the coming months.
Clyde Munro has joined the initiative as part of Alzheimer Scotland’s wider movement to engage with more than 90,000 people in Scotland to become Dementia Friends, matching the number of those living with the illness.
Dementia Friends Programme Manager, Anne McWhinnie, visited the team to deliver the first instalment of training.
She said: “Committing to have all of Clyde Munro’s staff trained as Dementia Friends is a great step towards increasing awareness and addressing the stigma often experienced by those living with the illness.
“Many people affected by dementia feel that society fails to understand the condition they are living with. Dementia Friends is helping to raise awareness of this, so that people living with the illness feel recognised, valued and understood in their community and all areas of society have a part to play to help this become a reality.
“This work and our ongoing Dementia Friends and Dementia Friendly Communities efforts, are a crucial step towards building a dementia-friendly Scotland, where nobody should face dementia alone.”
Dental Nurse, Angela Cheshire, said: “A number of the patients we treat are living with dementia so the Dementia Friends programme will be hugely beneficial in informing us on how we can best help them.
“Our growing awareness of the illness will allow practice staff to recognise the symptoms and treat the patients in consideration of this. We can now bring what we have learned into practice to help patients with dementia feel at ease in what can sometimes feel like an intimidating environment.
“It is really important that we ensure all of our patients have a positive dental experience. Becoming Dementia Friends is a great way to improve our practices for those patients who are living with dementia.”
The Dementia Friends initiative aims to give people more insight into the condition and the real challenges people living with dementia face. It demonstrates the small changes that can often make a big difference to people living with dementia such as adapting how you speak, giving clear information, removing some of the challenges that can cause confusion and changing behaviour – such as simply being tolerant in a queue.
If you have any questions about dementia, or about the support available in your area, call Alzheimer Scotland’s 24 Hour Freephone Helpline on 0808 808 3000. If you and your workplace would like to become a Scottish Dementia Friend, visit dementiafriendsscotland.org.