Rochdale police support Dementia Awareness Week

Date published: 19 May 2015

As part of Dementia Awareness Week (18-24 May) divisions across Greater Manchester will be carrying out activity to raise awareness and support for those with the illness and their loved ones. The activity is designed to encourage anyone with dementia, their friends and family members to speak out about their concerns and the experiences in order to break down barriers associated with it.

In Rochdale, officers have been learning about the impact of the illness in the borough’s south Asian community. Over the next five weeks officers will take part in two 45-minute bespoke training sessions. They are designed to raise awareness and knowledge about dementia from the perspective of someone with the illness.

Chief Inspector John Taylor said: “Dementia has an increasing impact on our aging communities and we really wanted to do something different to coincide with the national dementia awareness week.

“As a frontline service we are coming into contact with more and more people with dementia and it is helpful to have an understanding of how the disease can affect people and impact upon their lives.

“Dealing with dementia can be extremely challenging and we have set ourselves the challenge of raising awareness and helping staff to deal effectively and sensitively with the difficult situations they are called to.”

The first session was delivered by Dementia Friends and part of the training involved officers making a pledge to do something positive.

Shahid Mohammed delivered the second session and he focussed specifically on the south Asian community. He is a community activist in Dementia and the founder of BME Health and Wellbeing.

He said: “I decided to set a campaign to engage with the BME and south Asian community in Rochdale and start a process of raising awareness of the dementia, provide help and advice to support services and other professionals. The police are a valuable part of our community and I am delighted to share my knowledge and experience with them.”

Chief Inspector Taylor added: “The feedback from our officers and staff has been very positive and the presentations have been well received.

“This training is ground breaking for the police and benefits go beyond dealing with dementia. Understanding cultures and taboos helps us with community engagement, confidence in policing and community cohesion.”

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