Dunblane Medical Practice has become the first health centre in Forth Valley to be awarded a dementia friendly certificate. The award was presented by NHS Medical Director Andrew Murray who is pictured with practice manager Sue Lawson, chair of Dementia Friendly Dunblane, Breda Seaman and Patient Participation Group member Richard Duckworth, together with practice staff.
All practice staff have undertaken the online Dementia Friends Scotland training and an environmental audit of the premises has resulted in new flooring, brighter lights, redecoration of patient areas, signage and a key-pad assisted door.
According to Breda Seaman, who has also helped set up the Braeport Memory Cafe in the town, many people with dementia, especially those with Alzheimer’s, have difficulty in interpreting what they see. “For example, they may think that a shiny floor is wet or slippery. They may also struggle to understand unfamiliar environments so providing simple, cost effective dementia-friendly design features will help reassure then whilst they are in the health centre”
NHS Forth Valley Medical Director Andrew Murray added: “The proportion of people with cognitive problems and dementia accessing primary care services is increasing. If health centres are designed to be dementia friendly it can significantly improve the experience for people with dementia by reducing agitation and maximising their independence and engagement in their care.”
More than 90,000 people in Scotland have dementia with more than 5,000 of them living in Forth Valley. Patients may be reluctant to discuss their concerns about memory loss or other cognitive issues due to stigma and fear of dementia. The goal of a dementia- friendly community is to make sure that people with a diagnosis of dementia can continue to stay connected with and access their communities.