Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is encouraging you to mark national Dementia Awareness Week (17 to 23 May 2015) by organising a free home safety visit for anyone you know with dementia.
The effects of fire can be devastating and when someone has dementia, hazards such as leaving the gas unlit or forgetting that a pan is boiling dry on the hob can be a real concern. KFRS offers free home safety visits and special equipment that can make a big difference to help people stay safe and independent in their own homes.
KFRS’s Community Safety Manager, Charlie Smith, said: “If you have concerns about yourself or someone you care about, please phone us on 0800 923 7000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We will arrange a home safety visit and can provide free safety devices such as smoke alarms, fire proof blankets and eye-catching stickers to remind people to turn off televisions or cookers and not to overload electric sockets.
“We carry out 10,000 home safety visits every year and though we can’t stop dementia, we can help people to be safe and independent in their own homes for longer, which provides real peace of mind for their friends and relatives.”
KFRS became the national lead for fire services around the UK for the Prime Minister’s Dementia Challenge. As part of that, KFRS has rolled out dementia awareness training to 550 of its staff, as well as colleagues in other sectors and to members of the public.
Sheppey Watch Manager, Andrew Bridger-Smart said: “The Dementia Friends training has been invaluable in helping us to recognise the symptoms and we’re able to take a completely different approach in the way that we deal with somebody living with dementia.
“It was put to good practice at an incident we attended in sheltered housing in Sheppey, where an elderly lady had put hot cross buns in her microwave for 30 minutes, triggering her smoke alarms to sound. We arrived to find the flat full of smoke with the food smouldering in the microwave and 15 minutes still showing on the timer!
“We provided reassurance as we knew that she was likely to be feeling confused, anxious and scared. We stayed with her until a support agency colleague arrived and were able to share our concerns so that the appropriate help could be given.”
KFRS activity during Dementia Awareness Week includes:
Maidstone Older Persons Forum - Focus on Dementia at the Maidstone Masonic Centre Monday, 18 May between 9.30am and 2pm
Outside Out Patients with an information stand at Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford from 10am to 1pm on Tuesday, 19 May
- Deal Carers Support Staff training on Monday 18 May from 11am to 12 noon.
Dementia Post Diagnostic Group, Jasmin Centre, Dartford on Tuesday 19 May from 2pm to 4pm
Ashford Dementia Action Alliance Pop-up shop from 11am to 3pm (open drop in running throughout the week, 18– 22 May from 9am-5pm)
Information stall outside Out Patients at Darent Valley Hospital, Dartford from 10am to 2pm on Friday 22 May
Dementia Friends session at Eastchurch Village Hall, Warden Bay, Eastchurch, Sheppey on Wednesday, 20 May between 12 noon and 2pm.
Tonbridge Dementia Friendly Community Launch at The Angel Centre, Tonbridge on Thursday, 21 May between 10am and 12.30pm
S.M.I.L.E. (Swale Memory Information and Living Well Event) at The Forum Shopping Centre, Sittingbourne from 10am to 2pm on Friday, 22 May
Medway Dementia Action Alliance Launch, Innovation Centre, Medway - Friday 22 May between 2pm and 4pm
Dementia Awareness Day, Alexander Centre, Faversham on Saturday, 23 May between 10am to 2pm
To learn more about what it is like to live with dementia and turn that understanding into action, visit the Dementia Friends