News release text
Fulfilling its pledge to help create dementia friendly communities will be the focus of Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) activity next week, to coincide with Dementia Awareness Week (18 to 24 May).
KFRS will be attending a range of events and support groups to highlight the services its Vulnerable People team can provide to people in the early stages of dementia to help reduce the risk of fire in the home.
KFRS’s Vulnerable People Liaison Officer, Rachael Spencer, said: “Everyone needs to be aware of fire risks but when a person with dementia finds that their mental abilities are declining they may get forgetful, leaving burners on after cooking or letting pans boil over.
“Phoning the fire service may not be the first thing you think of when you or someone you care for is diagnosed with dementia, but by making a free call to KFRS, we can provide practical advice and fit safety devices, such as smoke alarms and cooker shut off switches to help people stay safe and independent in their own homes for as long as possible.”
Rachael will be attending a special ‘Dementia Adventure’ event in Gravesend (21 May), designed to encourage the development of networking groups for people living with dementia and to celebrate the launch of three dementia friendly community forums in Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley.
Rachael will also be providing an information session about KFRS’s dedicated Vulnerable People Team, as well as a ‘Dementia Friends’ session to volunteers at the Thanet Community Support Partnership meeting in Ramsgate (23 May).
In addition, KFRS will be hosting two ‘Dementia Friends’ events at Sessions House in Maidstone (21 and 22 May) for Kent County Council staff and members of the public to get a better understanding of fire risks associated with the care and protection of people with dementia in their communities.
Community Safety Manager Charlie Smith said: “By working with partners, carers and community groups and by encouraging our own staff to take up dementia friendly awareness training, we are playing our part in building dementia friendly communities and fulfilling the pledge KFRS made, along with other fire and rescue services across the UK, to improve the lives of dementia suffers and their carers.”