D&G Police Set To Learn More About Dementia

A recent review in the training received by police officers in Dumfries and Galloway identified that a number of them felt ill-equipped to deal with calls involving with people with dementia. 

The knock on effect being that officers were inadvertently making difficult situations more stressful for the individuals they were trying to help.

Detective Inspector Robin Ferguson recently linked with NHS Dumfries and Galloway and has been instrumental in trialling an Experiential Learning session at Divisional Headquarters in Dumfries which saw 18 members of staff, ranging from front line officers to administration staff receive the training session.

The session set out to simulate the experience of older people and people with dementia whilst emphasising some of the practical challenges that older people may face. A number of techniques were used to mimic conditions, such as dementia, peripheral neuropathy, arthritis and visual changes related to ageing.

These experiences were aimed at allowing those going through them to gain a better understanding of their impact on perception, comprehension, functioning and emotions. The session also raised awareness of how ill health, a disabling environment and poor communication can impact on people’s daily lives, leaving them very vulnerable.

Detective Inspector Ferguson said “those who attended the session rated it very highly and in fact scored it a 10 out of 10 which is fantastic. Comments in the feedback sheets indicated that the session “really made you feel and appreciate the effects of dementia”. 
It is estimated that there could be as many as 90,000 people in Scotland living with dementia and increasingly our officers are coming into contact with people living with and affected by dementia. Other training sessions are planned across the Division in the coming months.”
Specialist Nurse Practitioner Lorraine Haining from NHS Dumfries and Galloway said, “having the opportunity to work with Police Scotland officers in Dumfries and Galloway has been beneficial in raising awareness about dementia and the challenges that older people face on a daily basis.”

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