Tony Walker, Commericial Director at Tunstall Healthcare talks about the importance of dementia friendly week and how Tunstall supports the campaign.

This week marks Dementia Awareness Week – a week where dementia charities and organisations ask everyone to raise awareness of the condition, show understanding and kindness to people who have it, and improve dementia care.

The Alzheimer’s Society say that dementia is set to become the 21st century’s biggest killer. However, awareness of what the condition is and understanding it’s signs and symptoms is still low across the UK. Awareness of the available support, including the reassurance that technology can provide for people with dementia and their carers is also very low, and Dementia Awareness Week is a great opportunity to talk about it.

Dementia Friendly Technology
As part of the Prime Minister’s challenge on dementia, the Alzheimer’s Society set up dementia friendly working groups, one being focused around technology and the home. Tunstall Healthcare led the working group, aiming to give people with dementia and their carers information on how to access such technology. The group developed a Dementia Friendly Technology charter, which outlines:

  • People’s experiences of living with dementia and their thoughts on how technology can help them
  • How technology can support people living with dementia, their family and their friends before diagnosis, after diagnosis and during a crisis
  • How technology can support people living with dementia when they have complex healthcare needs
  • A variety of case studies around technology and the difference it makes to people’s lives
  • What good quality technology looks like, including issues to consider around ethics, consent and the re-evaluation of needs and outcomes
  • A set of key considerations for commissioners, assessment teams and people with dementia and their carers around buying technology

To help break down some of these key areas of the charter, we worked with the Alzheimer’s Society create an infographic based around individual scenarios and how specific technology could help them. The full infographic suite can be found on the Alzheimer’s Society website.

Supporting dementia at Tunstall
Alongside the dementia friendly working group project, we have also run dementia friend workshops for our employees. These workshops help our staff understand what dementia is, what it can feel like to have dementia, and how they can support people who live with the condition.

We provide a wide range of solutions for people living with dementia and their carers, so the service can be tailored to meet the specific needs of the individual. For example, service users can have environmental sensors in their home, triggering an alert to family, carers or a monitoring centre if the cooker is left on, a tap is left running, or the house temperature drops below a certain temperature.