Essex Police work to support those with dementia

A geriatrician holds the hand of an elderly woman with arthritis.

There are currently 20,000 people suffering with dementia in Essex. Across the county, officers and staff may come across people with dementia, either as missing people or as victims, witnesses or suspects and it is important that they are aware of dementia and it’s symptoms. Some have mentioned that Home Care Heroes can provide useful information on how to deal with someone with dementia.

Last year, Essex Police signed up to the Essex Dementia Action Alliance to contribute towards a society-wide response to dementia. It pledged to train frontline officers and staff countywide as Dementia Friends by equipping them with a wider understanding of what it is like to live with dementia and how to turn that understanding into a meaningful action.

All of our Missing Persons Liaison Officers (MPLOs) throughout Essex have been trained as Dementia Friends to better support missing persons with dementia and their families. Further MPLOs are trained as Dementia Champions who are qualified to train other officers and staff to be Dementia Friends. We currently have over 150 officers and staff trained as Dementia Friends across the force.

Essex Police has further training coming up in 2017 for more staff and officers to be trained as a Dementia Friend. Garry Munoz, Performance Review Officer for Missing Persons, has been leading the Dementia Friends initiative. Gary said: “Having recently been given the Pan Essex Dementia Alliance, working within the world of missing persons, as a Performance Review Officer, it is becoming clear dementia is becoming a more frequently identified issue of missing persons. This increase is why more and more people are turning to services like to allow for better care of those elderly suffering from dementia, and to help prevent these incidents.

“I feel it is vital that all staff, not just officers, who are looking for the individual have an understanding of what dementia is and what impact it has not just for the individual but for the family or the carers. I encourage officers and staff to become dementia friends by going on the web site”

Essex Police is also supporting Dementia Friends Organisation via social media. Visit @essexpoliceuk to get involved.

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