On World Alzheimer’s Day, Scotland’s emergency services have been re-iterating their commitment to the national Dementia Pledge.
Built on four key commitments, including ensuring staff have the tools and awareness to recognise and help people living with dementia, it also encourages organisations to be dementia-friendly employers by providing support to staff who are carers.
The Dementia Pledge was first co-signed by Police Scotland, the Scottish Ambulance Service and the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service in 2019, with the support of the Alzheimer Scotland and the Centre for Policy & Practice at the University of the West of Scotland.
Chief Superintendent Linda Jones, Police Scotland, said: “What’s happening at home can have a significant impact on a person’s wellbeing at work. As a dementia-friendly employer, we offer a range of wellbeing support to our officers and staff – as well as their families – which is underlined by our re-signing of the pledge this year.
“We are engaged in a significant range of partnership working to create dementia-friendly communities, and to ensure our officers and staff are aware how to respond to vulnerable people they encounter in the course of their duties. Our national implementation of the Herbert Protocol further strengthens our commitment to building safer communities.”
Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Chief Officer Martin Blunden said: “This is an important opportunity for us and our partners to underline our ongoing commitment to support those who are living with dementia. Our staff are involved with initiatives right across Scotland and are equipped with the required skills and knowledge to help people with dementia to live safely and feel recognised and valued.
“It is important that we do everything within our power to keep reaching out and support any effort to help make communities safer. That is why we launched our Make the Call campaign and I would once again urge members of the public to get in contact with us if they know someone who needs our support to stay safe from fire within the home. We can provide advice, tailored to an individual’s circumstances, as well as direct carers and families to other partners and agencies who can assist with dementia-related support.”
Scottish Ambulance Service Medical Director Jim Ward said: “We are committed to ensuring that our staff have the knowledge and skills to recognise and support people living with dementia and treat them and their families with compassion.
“I’m delighted to reaffirm our commitment to the Dementia Pledge, ensuring a dementia-friendly service is delivered communities across Scotland to help improve the safety and wellbeing of people living with dementia, their families and carers.”
Alzheimer Scotland Purple Alert is an app designed to help finding missing people with dementia. If someone is missing, uses are notified via the app and can assist with local searches.
Alzheimer Scotland Deputy Director Joyce Gray said: “Alzheimer Scotland is so grateful for the renewed commitment from our partners. Purple Alert can only become more successful if our community of users increases, making it more likely that someone is found safe and well. The support you give us through this renewed pledge and the day-to-day support of your teams and officers just makes Scotland a safer place for people living with dementia.”
Professor Debbie Tolson, Director of the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice at the University of the West of Scotland, said: “I am so proud to see our partners from Alzheimer Scotland, together with the emergency services, come together on World Alzheimer’s Day, to reinforce their commitment to those living with dementia in signing the dementia pledge.
Almost every family in Scotland will know someone living with the illness. This pledge is significant in helping us create an understanding, dementia-friendly society across the various service areas people with dementia and their family’s access to ensure they feel effectively supported and recognised. Once again, the pledge highlights a collective commitment to equip first responders with appropriate knowledge and skills to be confident while working with people with dementia.