Care home workers have shown their support for people with dementia by becoming "Dementia Friends" - and they are calling on people in Wolverhampton to do the same.

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All 40 staff at Nelson Mandela House have completed information sessions to make them more aware of, and responsive to, the needs of people living with dementia and their families.

A number of service users at the Wolverhampton City Council run residential unit in Pendeford have a form of dementia, and the sessions have enabled care staff to give them the sort of help and support they need to make their lives a little easier.

Nelson Mandela House manager Karen Atkins said: "Being a Dementia Friend is all about understanding a little more about dementia and what sort of things you can do to help people with the condition.

"Becoming Dementia Friends has given our staff a greater understanding of how they can make life better for people with dementia, both when they are with us here at Nelson Mandela House and when they are back home in the community.

"It has made our workers think more about the little things they can do to make a big difference to our service users. For instance, looking through an old photo album with a service user can bring a smile to their face by triggering memories as they remember or recognise something that is important to them.

"The information sessions also highlight some of the other things people can do to help others with dementia to carry on going about their daily lives - this can be anything from helping them get on the right bus or doing their shopping, to simply recognising that people with dementia may take longer to carry out everyday tasks and so showing them extra patience.

"Nationally more than 1 million people have completed information sessions to become a Dementia Friend, and I'd encourage anyone in Wolverhampton who is thinking about becoming a Dementia Friend to do it - and start making a real difference to people's lives."

Alzheimer's Society Information Worker Jane James, who delivered the sessions, said: "Everyone who lives and works in the city has a part to play in making it a better place for people with dementia and their families and carers.

"Attending an awareness session is a good way to start and I'm really pleased that all the staff at Nelson Mandela House have become Dementia Friends and are now turning their understanding into positive action which is really helping service users."

People can become Dementia Friends either by watching a short film available on the Dementia Friends website or by attending a 60 minute information session held at various venues throughout the region. For more information, please visit Type=links;Linkid=5999;Title=Dementia Friendly;Target=_blank; or contact Jane James on 07714 139406 or by emailing

Wolverhampton is working towards becoming a Dementia Friendly Community - and hopes to be one of the first areas in the country to receive this recognition. Organisations across the city, led by the council, are coming together to improve the services they offer and make Wolverhampton a place which better meets the needs of people living with dementia, and their carers.

  • released: Tuesday 14 April, 2015