Fire crews learn to spot dementia signs

FIRE crews have been trained to identify people with dementia.

Loading Comments
Share
Print
From left, group commander Edward Mullen; Derek Watson of Community Trust (Motherwell Football Club); Mick Hydes, commander safety coordinating; John Joyce, area commander (in cab); Sandra Shafii, AHP dementia training; Arlene Crockett, NHS liaison officer, and Pete Gilfedder, NHS liaison officer, are all involved in dementia training scheme
From left, group commander Edward Mullen; Derek Watson of Community Trust (Motherwell Football Club); Mick Hydes, commander safety coordinating; John Joyce, area commander (in cab); Sandra Shafii, AHP dementia training; Arlene Crockett, NHS liaison officer, and Pete Gilfedder, NHS liaison officer, are all involved in dementia training scheme

In a first for Scotland, firefighters at Motherwell Fire Station have been schooled in how to look for the early signs of the condition.

As first told in the Evening Times last month, an initiative between Strathclyde Fire and Rescue (SFR) and NHS staff is aiming to help stop fires in the homes of vulnerable people. The first part – which has seen all five watches in Motherwell station given dementia training – has now been completed.

It was set up by NHS worker Pete Gilfedder and dementia consultant Sandra Shafii.

Watch Commander Jim Muir was one of the first SFR staff to be trained by Ms Shafii.

He said: "Anything that increases our knowledge of the kind of community we are working in helps immensely.

"Anything that gives us a sense of how to deal with people with dementia and how to spot the early signs is really helpful.

"We are trained to respond very quickly to situations and to ask a lot of questions.

"Someone with dementia would not be able to cope as well in that situation so now we know how to spot the signs and how to talk to the person appropriately.

"In the area we work in as well, we can often encounter hostility from the people we're helping.

"People with dementia can sometimes act angrily from confusion so we have also learned to respond properly to that too."

Health professionals believe it is important for people with dementia to stay in their own homes for as long as possible.

But those with the illness are vulnerable to accidents as they struggle with making decisions and with memory.

Ms Shafii wanted to make sure people with dementia were given appropriate fire prevention advice and approached SFR.

Now she is training fire crews – and fire crews are training allied health professionals (AHPs) in looking for fire risks when they are dealing with vulnerable people, both in hospitals and during home visits.

Anyone at risk is referred to SFR for a home fire safety visit, which will be carried out with a health worker.

Firefighters can put practical steps in place to help make the home of a person with dementia much safer. At the same time, firefighters are being trained to look for the early signs of dementia during home fire safety visits or live incidents.

Bosses said the work is all the more important as Scotland faces an ageing population and with it a growing number of people with dementia.

SFR already has an Older Person Strategy in place and the dementia strategy is a follow on from this.

catriona.stewart@ eveningtimes.co.uk

Health

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

110985

Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email news@eveningtimes.co.uk
                Janice Bell                
                               

Janice Bell

                               

You Couldn't Make This Up

                               

I gave up the ghost when it came to changing my kids.

               
Free swim at a Glasgow Club pool for every reader - Click here

Entertainment

Lifestyle

Wedding
                A weekly round up of social highlights                
                               

A weekly round up of social highlights

                               

Cat's Eyes on Glasgow

                               

Why the Harlem Globetrotters weren't so slam dunking and making a boob at Debenhams

               
Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Columnist Michelle McManus is Sussed in the City, and loves to chat about anything and everything.

Gail’s Gab

Gail’s Gab

Gail Sheridan is a mother-of-one and wife to Tommy and she likes to get political with the hot topic of the week in her column Gail’s Gab.