Paul Richoux and Lynda McEwanOne of Scotland’s leading housing and care providers is giving its colleagues additional training in a bid to help raise more awareness of dementia.

Edinburgh based charity Blackwood is rolling out training in Dementia Care Awareness for 450 members of staff across Scotland after Alzheimer Scotland reported more than 90,000 people are currently living with the disease.

The ‘Promoting Excellence in Dementia Care’ training programme will provide staff with an insight into recognising the initial signs and symptoms of the disease as well as allowing them to be better equipped, more confident and offer a more personal approach in their interactions with customers who have been diagnosed.

Blackwood Chief Executive Fanchea Kelly said:

“Dementia is becoming increasingly more common for elderly people over the age of 65 and we want to ensure we are fully capable of providing the necessary care and services for any of our customers who are living with it.

“We always strive to be at the forefront of the latest innovations, technologies and training so providing additional support to our colleagues will allow us to continue to improve and enhance the lives of those we work with, particularly those living with dementia.

“People are at the heart of what we do, and it’s only with the dedication of our own team that we can deliver value and quality to our customers – so having the opportunity to allow our colleagues to expand their knowledge and skills is particularly beneficial for us.

“It’s vital that we continue to grow and develop in order to listen to the ever evolving needs of our service-users and help shape our future.”

Blackwood, has more than 1500 homes throughout the country making it a leader in helping those who are disabled, elderly or with sensory impairments to live more independently.

As it works in 29 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities, it is more widely dispersed than most other care or housing providers and has embraced the challenges of taking housing and care into innovative areas at a time when funding is increasingly limited.