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Health and social care students become Dementia Friends

Learners share ideas on how to support people with dementia.

24 June 2019

A large group of Health and social care students packed a classroom at Reading College to attend a Dementia Friends information session on 20 June.

Delivered by Michelle Berry, a Neighbourhood Co-ordinator from Reading Borough Council, the lively and informative session set about to dispel some of the myths around symptoms, and what we can all do to support people with dementia.

In a group discussion, students described their career goals of becoming midwives, social workers, nurses, paramedics and counsellors, and displayed a considerable amount of knowledge and empathy when discussing dementia and how it can affect individuals, their families and friends.

Dementia Champion and chair of the Reading Dementia Action Alliance Michelle Berry said: “These students here today will be going on to future roles in adult social care … and even if they go outside of that, even as members of society, it is important for them to understand dementia.

“We want to reduce the stigma that’s attached to dementia and make sure that when they’re out and about and they see someone acting, perhaps, a bit out of character, then they won’t stigmatise that person and they’ll have much more understanding.”

“The students have been really engaging, it’s been great. This is the youngest group that I’ve ever delivered to. Typically, they are a lot older people who have already got a connection with someone living with dementia, so it’s really nice to come along to an engaging young group.”

Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition.