CARERS in Halton have completed specialist training to cope with the growing number of older people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Staff at Home Instead have become the first employees in the country to receive accreditation from a new City & Guilds dementia training programme.

Eula Hersey from Home Instead said: “Rather than trying to force those living with Alzheimer’s or other dementias to live in our world in the here and now, we need to meet them in the past.

“This programme helps our caregivers to do this. Dementia care often focuses on keeping the person with dementia from doing unwanted behaviours, thereby creating a behavioural void, but this programme focuses on supporting wanted behaviours.

“A number of our clients are diagnosed with or have symptoms of Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia and it is important that we can do as much as possible to improve their quality of life.”

She said carers can share their knowledge with family members so the programme will help to give them confidence in dealing with behaviours that can be irrational or hard to understand.

The programme teaches innovative techniques for dealing with dementia, rather than focusing on the symptoms and treatments of the condition.

Carers are trained in effective techniques for managing the many different and sometimes challenging behaviours, associated with dementia including refusal, delusions, aggression, false accusations, wandering and agitation.

Carers learn to respect the person as an individual and are able to observe, honour and support their lives.