Dementia skills scheme on way

submitted image.
submitted image.

Businesses across Mid and East Antrim are starting off 2019 by learning what it takes to become dementia-friendly.

A dementia-friendly community is a city, town or village where people with dementia are understood, respected and supported.

The scheme is being rolled out by Mid and East Antrim Council alongside the Alzheimer’s society and has already has great success in Larne and Carrickfergus with plans to expand across Ballymena this year.

Businesses have been upskilling staff to become more aware of dementia and learning the signs to recognise if someone they encounter may just need a little more time or support.They’ve also been finding out how to make their business surroundings more supportive to people living with dementia.

Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friendly Award winner and Dementia Champion, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna said: “Dementia-friendly communities are vital in helping people live well with dementia and remain a part of their community. We have already had success in Larne and Carrickfergus with a number of businesses taking part in training and the feedback was overwhelming. We now plan to roll the scheme out to Ballymena and can’t wait to see the results.

“Council is fully committed to ensuring our older generations are welcomed, supported and respected. With an ageing population, our community plan outlines ways to ensure that services reflect this and this initiative is truly putting people first by educating everyone about Dementia. I would encourage all the businesses in Mid and East Antrim to get behind this scheme and take up the training opportunities we are rolling out alongside our charity partners.”

To date over 300 people from more than 100 businesses and organisations have attended dementia-friendly training workshops.

The next free training sessions will be shared on social media so anyone interested can follow the council channels on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date.