Wellbeing Care, a family-run provider for older adults living in Suffolk and Northamptonshire, has enrolled staff in a training programme designed to enable participants to understand how to communicate with people living with dementia.
The ‘Dementia Interpreter’ course works by placing people in the same situation as those living with dementia. By slowly taking away their ability to speak, see, hear, and even use body language, participants are forced to find new ways to communicate.
In the process, participants experience first-hand the isolation, frustration and anxiety often felt by those living with dementia - and they start to mirror the way they communicate without realising.
By spending some time in their world, delegates complete the course with an increased understanding of dementia’s impact and a heightened sense of empathy for those affected.
Among the first to undertake training was Wellbeing Care registered operations manager Joy Henshaw.
With her newly-acquired Dementia Interpreter qualification, Joy will be responsible for training staff across each of Wellbeing Care’s homes.
The eventual aim is that all 153 staff members at Wellbeing Care will be qualified Dementia Interpreter upon completion of training.
“Training as a Dementia Interpreter for Wellbeing Care was an informative and humbling experience. The course has helped me develop a much deeper understanding of how those living with dementia must feel and the subsequent impact on their behaviour,” said Henshaw.
“I believe this training will result in improved services to the provision of care we give to those who are living with this condition daily and I can’t wait to share my newfound knowledge with the rest of the team,” she added.