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Redcar & Cleveland College is a Dementia Friend

Redcar & Cleveland College is a Dementia Friend

Students and staff at Redcar & Cleveland College are helping play their part in making life just that little bit easier for those living with dementia.

The college has been certified a Dementia Friendly college and now the team are helping to spread the word.

With one person developing dementia every three minutes in the UK, the College’s Programme Area Lead for Access, Health and Early Years, Michelle Kelso said: “Everybody at some time in their life is going to be touched by dementia, whether it is themselves, a family member or friend.

“That’s why it is so important for people to have an understanding of what that person is going through.”

As a Dementia Friendly establishment, the college will provide information sessions to staff, students and visitors and look at further ways to make their facilities more accessible to those with dementia.

Part of Dementia Friendly Redcar and Cleveland, the project aims help people living with dementia to remain active members of their communities by ensuring businesses and other organisations are accessible.

Dementia is a progressive disease and signs and symptoms are often small to start with. For someone with dementia the symptoms have become severe enough to affect daily life. But with support and guidance a person living with dementia can continue to live in the way they want.

Michelle said: “Being a Dementia Friend simply means learning more about dementia, putting yourself in the shoes of someone living with the condition, and turning your understanding into action.

“It is true that more people over 65 have dementia but it is not exclusively an older person’s disease; younger people get dementia too.”

By having a greater understanding, she explained everyone can help play their part in making life better for those affected, even with the smallest actions such as being more patient in a shopping queue or wearing a badge to raise awareness.

A Dementia Friends Champion herself and having worked in elderly care for 26 years, Michelle understands better than most the issues that people face.

She said: “Everyday tasks that we take for granted can be a challenge to a person living with dementia, such as making a cup of tea or going for a haircut.”

This is where the college and dementia friendly establishments like it can offer a helping hand by delivering dementia friendly sessions to raise awareness and understanding of the disease.

The Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends scheme is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia, transforming the way people think, act and talk about the condition.

To find out more about becoming a Dementia Friend visit: www.dementiafriends.org.uk/

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