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Stepping into the Shoes of Dementia Sufferers

We learnt about the signs and symptoms and how we can make a positive difference.

by Burns Team Writer

Our staff recently took part in Dementia Awareness Training. We learnt about the signs and symptoms and how we can make a positive difference.

Did you know that 1 in 3 people born in the UK this year will develop Dementia? Dementia can take on many forms and stages of severity vary depending on the individual, but the most common symptoms include memory loss, difficulty performing tasks and cognitive impair.

As a customer-facing company with a farm shop, multiple pet shops and over 130 staff members, we feel it is our duty to be clued up on the signs and symptoms of dementia and how to help potential sufferers.

So, when we were invited to take part in Training2Care’s Virtual Dementia Tour we knew we had to get involved.

A community effort

On Monday, over 30 people took part in Dementia Awareness training including our community staff, company staff, volunteers, local care workers and community champion, Anne Gilley.

The training took place at our very own Parc Y Bocs Farm Shop which in addition to being a thriving business has also become a community hub and educational event space for residents of Kidwelly and beyond.

A window into the world of Dementia

The experiential training involved participants wearing items of clothing and accessories which removed or impaired their abilities. For instance, glasses that reduced peripheral vision, headsets, gloves and insoles.

Participants began to feel confused, isolated and lost which gave a real insight into what it’s like to suffer the effects of Dementia. Although an uncomfortable experience, stepping into the shoes of Dementia sufferers is something that the Professor PK Beville, Inventor of Virtual Training Tour believes can result in positive practice and outcomes.

The training is tried and tested annually by around 200,000 people in the UK alone. It is the go-to Dementia training used by the NHS, nursing homes, prisons and universities to name a few.

Taking steps towards positive change

Participants learnt that introducing more colour and music into practical environments can drastically improve the lives of Dementia sufferers. Simple switches such as painting rooms, doors, floors and light switches unique colours can help sufferers to differentiate between places and find their way around. Meanwhile, music can boost mood and improve the focus of Dementia sufferers.

We would like to give a big paws up to West Wales Care Partnership who kindly funded this training, enabling our staff and local community to become more mindful and proactive in helping Dementia sufferers.

To find out more about how we’re making a difference in Kidwelly and beyond, visit the Burns in the Community section of our website.

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