Dungarvan a step closer to Ireland’s first Dementia Friendly Town

Dungarvan Business Dementia Friendly training presentation day. Participants in the Training module with Ray Power, Home Instead Senior Care and Jenny Beresford, Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber. Photo Sean Byrne//Deise Media

In a joint initiative between Home Instead Senior Care and Dungarvan Chamber of Commerce fourteen local businesses were presented with dementia-friendly certificates last Wednesday (February 10th) at Dungarvan Tourism Office.

The businesses recently completed a free training workshop, devised and facilitated by Home Instead Senior Care, which stressed the importance to service providers and retailers of having a better understanding of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Over fifty key frontline staff in these businesses underwent the training, which will greatly assist them in their future dealings with dementia sufferers, their carers and families.

It is forecasted that those with dementia will rise from approximately 48,000 today to around 140,000 by 2041 and inevitably more staff throughout Waterford city and county will come into contact with dementia sufferers in their daily work.

Ray Power, Manager Home Instead Senior Care Waterford, was delighted with the success of the programme in Dungarvan. “We were amazed by the reaction to, and the enthusiasm with which, the dementia training was undertaken. Fourteen Dungarvan businesses participated in the workshop aimed at equipping them with the tools to deal empathetically with someone who has dementia, is confused or disorientated.”

“Some of the businesses involved have had experience of dealing with dementia, however the purpose of this particular training was to ensure that all local businesses had a better understanding of dementia and Alzheimer’s, learn how to recognise the signs and how to interact appropriately with that person.”

Areas which were highlighted during the training were how to deal with dementia sufferers appropriately and compassionately through apt body movements, body language and voice tone. As a result, staff members are better equipped to assist and assure a person with dementia, in order for that person to have a stress and anxiety free experience.

Karl O’Doherty, AIB Branch Manager, Dungarvan, along with staff participated in the dementia-friendly training.

“From the outset we were very interested in participating in the dementia friendly workshop. The training complemented AIB’s policy of dealing with vulnerable customers and was something we knew could enhance the team’s skills in dealing with those with dementia and Alzheimer’s.”

Mr. O’ Doherty added, “The training, advice and case studies made us vastly more aware of recognising the signs of a distressed customer and how to interact with that person in a caring and understanding manner.”

“AIB Dungarvan is the first branch in the country to undertake dementia-friendly training and we are proud to be part of the drive to make Dungarvan Ireland’s first dementia friendly town.”

Mr. Power continued “This is the first step in making Dungarvan Ireland’s first fully Dementia Friendly Town. Hopefully with full participation of local businesses, visiting, shopping and staying in Dungarvan will become an even more agreeable experience for those with dementia. It would encourage, what is often a marginalised sector and their family carers, who can also feel very isolated and alone, to become more enmeshed in the local community. This is something we at Home Instead Senior Care believe can only have massive benefits to those with dementia, their carers and their families.”

Dungarvan Chamber CEO Jenny Beresford said, “It’s a testament to the businesses’ foresight who are determined to make Dungarvan Ireland’s first dementia friendly town. Collectively, they are working to make Dungarvan a destination venue, for those with dementia and their carers, to visit, shop, stay and enjoy a truly stress free experience.”

The participating Dungarvan businesses that received their certificates of completion are AIB, Bank of Ireland, SGC Cinema, The Park Hotel, Dungarvan Chamber of Commerce, Dungarvan Tourism, Jitterbeans, Crew’s Restaurant, Blasta Wholefoods, Garvey’s SuperValu, Hallihan’s Pharmacy and Murray’s Pharmacy.

If you are a business owner and are interested in finding out more about Home Instead Senior Care Dementia Training workshops, visit www.homeinstead.ie or call Waterford Home Instead Senior Care on 058 75298.

Dungarvan Business Dementia Friendly training presentation day.
Participants in the Training module with Ray Power, Home Instead Senior Care and Jenny Beresford, Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber.
Photo Sean Byrne//Deise Media