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Inheritance & Welfare Specialist Ciara Hannawin on Firefighters helping people with Dementia

This week the Guardian reported the change in direction that some fire fighters have experienced when dealing with people in their homes.

Those suffering with Dementia can often pose a greater fire risk. There are some clever preventative measures available but there is no substitute for a friendly neighbour popping in to check on a Elderly & Vulnerable person.

Phil Garrigan, Deputy Chief Fire officer at Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service refers to ‘community nudge’ – encouraging someone close by to keep an eye on those who may be at risk in the community. These can be physical dangers like fires or more emotional ones like the feeling of loneliness or isolation.

Speaking at a Dementia conference in Manchester yesterday, Dr Julia Botsford of Dementia UK reported the findings of a recent study. When people with Dementia were asked about what was important to them, the item at the top of the list was ‘having someone to talk to’.

The reality is we all need a network of people around us, for various reasons. We should support those who struggle to form and maintain links with the community. We need to make sure they are safe but it would be nice to make sure they are also content. The fire service are doing their part, we all need to do ours.

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