Dementia Awareness

2013 Great Spring Steam Gala - Watercress Line - Ropley - GWR 5101 class Prairie Tank - 5164

On a few occasions in the past, I have been contacted through this blog for information or images to be used to help organisations working with people with dementia.  Heritage Railways are potentially an ideal place to visit for those with this condition, as it not only recreates a relevant period of time but also provides an enjoyable sensory experience of sights, sounds and smells.  Just look at the picture above to see how dramatic and impactful that this can be for any visitor.  This is one of those instances that you realise that the provision of the experience of riding behind a steam locomotive is more than just a joy to railway enthusiasts and can be very meaningful in other ways.I was very happy when I learnt that through the Canadian Pacific project on the Watercress Line, one of our aims was to improve the visiting experience for those with dementia and their carers and families.  One of the ways this is to be done is through Dementia Awareness training, the subject of the latest blog post on the Watercress Line’s website – please see link below:

CP OU 012 Dementia Awareness Training low res

preservation.watercressline.co.uk/blog/entry/dementia-awareness-training

The training had five key messages:

  1. It’s not a natural part of ageing.
  2. It’s caused by diseases of the brain.
  3. It’s not just about losing your memory – it can effect thinking, communicating and doing everyday tasks.
  4. It’s possible to live with dementia.
  5. There’s more to a person than the dementia.

With support, people with dementia can and do take an active role in life.  For more information please visit the Alzheimer’s Society website by clicking here.

Thanks for reading.

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