The staff team and representatives from our Board of Trustees had a very informative morning being led through a Dementia Friends Scotland workshop by Alzheimer Scotland’s Anne McWhinnie today. Anne facilitated an hour long information session as part of Alzheimer Scotland’s Dementia Friends initiative, which aims to help participants to learn a little about what it’s like to live with dementia and turn that understanding into action.
The session was hugely informative and was packed with really useful information and exercises that challenged our preconceptions of people with dementia, helped us to understand the very varied lived experience people with dementia have, and the impact that the often negative language that we use to discuss dementia has for those living with dementia.
We were given lots of useful leaflets at the end of the session so that we can take what we learned and apply it to how we interact with people in our work life and outside of work.
Anne also spoke about Alzheimer Scotland’s Fair Dementia Care Campaign which was launched as a way to bring focus to the inequalities facing people living with advanced dementia when it comes to access to healthcare. Currently people living with advanced dementia in Scotland are facing £50.9m in care costs every year. Alzheimer Scotland believes that this needs to change, and the needs of people with advanced dementia should be recognised as health care needs and be free at the point of delivery. If you would like to read more about Alzheimer Scotland’s Fair Dementia Care Campaign or sign the petition, see here for more details.
It’s really easy to become a Dementia Friend – you can attend a local information session, take an online course, or do what we did and organise a staff session at your workplace. For more information visit their website.
After the session, Humanist Society Scotland Chief Exec, Fraser Sutherland, said:
As an organisation we come into contact with a great number of people, and we want to ensure that we are always welcoming and informed and able to communicate respectfully and successfully with everyone that we work with. The session today will be built upon by staff members to ensure that Humanist Society Scotland is not only a Dementia Friend, but forms one of the building blocks that will help to realise Alzheimer Scotland’s aim of creating a Dementia Friendly Scotland.
All of our Humanist Celebrant team have been offered the opportunity to take the online Dementia Friend’s course, and we would encourage anyone reading this to take a few minutes to do the same.
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