BUDDING taxi drivers in Tameside are on the road to supporting people with dementia.
Tameside Council is amongst the first in the country to offer Dementia Friends Sessions to new taxi driver applicants.
Taxi drivers are well placed to spot passengers who may be exhibiting signs of dementia and the sessions not only raise awareness but also give them advice on how best to deal with vulnerable passengers.
The first session has been delivered to 20 prospective taxi drivers who have all signed up to become Dementia Friends. The sessions will be on-going and delivered to a new cohort of applicants every month.
In the UK, one person develops dementia every three minutes. More than 1,800 people in Tameside have been diagnosed.
Tameside Council Executive Leader and Greater Manchester lead for ageing and equalities, Councillor Brenda Warrington, said: “I’m delighted that Tameside is leading the way in offering Dementia Friends Sessions to new taxi driver applicants. With an increasing number of people being diagnosed with dementia, it’s important to raise awareness of how we can give help and support. Well done to the taxi drivers who were the first to sign up and I hope many others follow as they are ideally placed to spot and support vulnerable passengers on their travels.”
Residents are encouraged to become Dementia Friends, which simply involves putting into practice what they’ve learnt when they meet someone who might need their help. You can become a Dementia Friend by either watching a video, reading a booklet or attending a face-to-face information session. Visit www.dementiafriends.org.uk to find out more. For further information contact Public Health Programme Officer Angela Wild on 0161 342 3477.