There are approximately 45,000 people in Wales with dementia – and the numbers are increasing every day. It’s one of the biggest health crises of our time, and it’s likely that most of us will be affected by the disease at some point in our lives, either because we develop the disease or because a close relative or friend will do so. There is a growing movement aiming to educate and make our communities more supportive of people living with dementia – and it’s something we feel very strongly about at the Pembrokeshire Dental Centre – which is why we have taken the step of attaining The Alzheimer’s Society’s ‘Dementia Friends’ accreditation!
What is ‘Dementia Friends’?
Dementia Friends is a training workshop for individuals, organisations and businesses to help them better understand dementia and assist people with the disease more effectively. It’s an initiative created by The Alzheimers Society with the aim of creating 4 million Dementia Friends in the UK by 2020.
What does being a ‘Dementia Friend’ involve?
In essence, it means taking part in the Dementia Friends workshop and putting what we’ve learned into practice back at the surgery. Living with dementia brings a wide range of additional challenges with it. This can make a trip to the dentist a worrying experience for those with dementia. By better understanding the common problems that people with dementia can face, we can offer more support to our patients and work hard to make sure dental check-ups are a positive experience.
Knowing about problems such as memory loss, confusion, problems with perception, and difficulties with planning and organisation helps us put ourselves in the shoes of our patients living with dementia. Taking these into account, we can make the very necessary dental visits and resulting treatment as stress-free as possible.
Our dementia friendly service
While we pride ourselves on offering an excellent dental service, making that service accessible to those with dementia has led us to be even more conscious of the physical environment at the practice and how we deliver our services. This means that our patients will be able to access our dental services and maintain their oral health even if they are facing significant challenges in other areas of their life. We hope that this will encourage other businesses and organisations in the area to become Dementia Friends, contributing to increased awareness in the community about dementia, and helping to improve the lives of those living with the condition.
If you have any questions about how we can help you or a relative living with dementia to access our services, please get in touch and our friendly staff will be happy to help.
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