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Dementia Awareness: preparing for the future

15th May 2015

handsAs the UK’s population gets older, it’s inevitable that the number of people living with dementia and Alzheimers disease will go up. At the moment, 850,000 people in the UK are living with dementia and this is expected to rise to over a million by 2025. Next week is Dementia Awareness Week, and the Alzheimers Society is encouraging people to find out more about the condition, as the number of people living with it increases.

Our Assessor Susan Hannaby was already very interested in the condition – she volunteers with the Alzheimer’s Society – so it seemed like an ideal opportunity for us to train her up to become an accredited Dementia Trainer. From June, she will be delivering courses in Dementia Awareness at Gateway.

Susan said, “because of the increase in the number of people with dementia, increasing people’s awareness and understanding of the disease is becoming more and more important.

Susan Hannaby

Gateway’s Assessor Susan Hannaby

“Dementia care is really about supporting people to maintain a good quality of life. Dementia has a rather negative image and, sadly, it’s been shown that people with dementia are particularly vulnerable to poor care. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If we can share awareness and offer positive influences, we can help people with dementia to live well.”

Gateway will be the first RSPH accredited training centre for dementia awareness in Birmingham. As part of a range of carefully curated accredited Health and Wellbeing courses, we will be delivering the Level 2 Award in Understanding Dementia, which was developed by the RSPH in association with the Alzheimer’s Society.

It’s a one day course, open to any organisations looking to upskill their workforce.

Susan said, “Day centre staff, community centre workers, care home staff… this course is for anyone who might come into contact with people with dementia. You don’t even necessarily have to work in Health and Social Care; you might have a family member who has been diagnosed with dementia and you want to find out more.”

At the end of the course, participants receive an accredited RSPH Level 2 qualification.

If you’d like to find out more, visit our Employment Access Skills and Training pages, or just contact us on 0121 456 7820. We’ll work with your organisation to deliver the course in a way that will benefit you and your workforce the most.

Dementia Friends

Outside of her work with Gateway, Susan is committed to dementia awareness, volunteering with various Alzheimer’s Society groups, including Singing for the Brain and the Dementia Cafe.

She’s also a Dementia Friend, part of a national initiative to spread awareness. Dementia Friends register with the Alzheimer’s Society to commit to one action that promotes “living well with dementia” – and this action can be as simple as wearing a badge and telling one person what the badge is for! Dementia Friends can then choose to become a Dementia Champion; someone who decides to be trained to deliver information sessions and recruit more Friends. Susan has been fully trained as a Dementia Champion, delivering one information session for staff here at Gateway already and with another planned for 27th May.

Watch Susan talk about becoming a Dementia Friend, and about delivering the accredited RSPH Dementia Awareness training at Gateway, in this short video:

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1 Comment

  1. Ann Forletta

    Its great to see that Gateway is taking a lead on delivery Dementia training across Birmingham. This is a condition that’s likely to touch us all at some time. The more we understand it the more we can do to help those living with Dementia, and their families and carers. I’ll definitely be attending one of the staff training sessions.