Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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How we work to support people living with dementia in Essex

This week is Dementia Action Week and we’re highlighting the ways we work to support people living with dementia in Essex.

Essex has a higher-than-average older population, and it is growing year on year. Although not exclusive to a particular age group, dementia has a higher prevalence for those in the older population. Therefore, the number of people living with dementia, now and predicted in the future, are growing daily in Essex.

People with dementia are one of the most marginalised, socially excluded and highly stigmatised groups in society. Exclusion from communities is all too frequently a consequence of dementia, where the person often experiences reduced ability and opportunity, to be part of social engagement. Having a lack of social engagement can often increase vulnerability and also invite risk into a person’s environment.

Home fire safety visits

We work to prevent avoidable and unnecessary incidents occurring in Essex. Part of that prevention involves working with partners in the dementia environment, providing support with Safe & Well and Community Builder visits.

We offer free home fire safety visits to all Essex residents.

If you want to book a free home fire safety or safe and well visit with our team for yourself or someone you know, you can call 0300 303 0088 or visit: www.essex-fire.gov.uk/book

Workplace fire risk assessments

Are you involved in a business that caters for people with dementia? These could include nursing homes, care homes, retirement flats, social housing, hotels, B&Bs, village/community halls, pubs, restaurants, shops, healthcare providers and hairdressers.

In fact, any business could have a person with dementia within their premises.

Our Protection team works with businesses to make sure steps are taken to reduce the risk of fire to keep staff and customers safe.

Their advice here can help you create your fire risk assessment while considering people with dementia.

If you need any business fire safety advice, the Service’s fire safety officers can help. Please contact your local team at: www.essex-fire.gov.uk/Business_Safety

Guardian Angel initiative for people with dementia

Earlier this year, we joined our partners in Essex Police, NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups, the Alzheimer's Society and Essex's local authorities in a new scheme to support people living with dementia.

The Guardian Angel initiative allows us to give out wristbands, badges, hang tags and key rings from the charity Dementia Buddy to people living with dementia.

These are encoded with the individual’s first name and emergency contact number and our partners throughout Essex can recognise that a person is living with dementia when they see the Dementia Buddy branding. The tags can be scanned with a mobile phone and the encoded data will tell us who the person is and their emergency contact.

If you know someone who would benefit from having a Guardian Angel they can be obtained directly from the Dementia Buddy website or by calling 01942 888990.

Herbert Protocol

The Herbert Protocol is a form that carers, family or friends of a vulnerable person, or the person themselves, can fill in.

It contains a list of information to help the police and partners if the person goes missing. You can find out more about the Herbert Protocol at www.essex.police.uk/notices/af/herbert-protocol/.

Dementia Action Alliance and Essex Faith Covenants

We’re a member of the Dementia Action Alliance which allows us to be informed, inform others and be part of inspiring communities to become Dementia Friendly Communities.

The benefits of Dementia Friendly Communities action provide the opportunity for people living with dementia and their carers to remain engaged in their chosen activities of life, where they are recognised, considered and where they feel connected, for as long as they wish to. This also helps make communities a dynamic and inclusive place to live and work in, where all feel connected.

We’re also involved in the Essex Faith Covenants dementia group, bringing together different faiths and cultures across Essex to focus on what can be done together in support of people living with dementia and those who care for them

Support in Essex 

If you need dementia support, Dementia Connect, from the Alzheimer’s Society, is a new personalised dementia support service for anyone affected by dementia.  It connects you with a whole range of dementia support, by phone, online and face to face. 

You can access more information on their website here or call: 0333 150 34561 or email: dementia.connect@alzheimers.org.uk

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