Pharmacy staff within Cwm Taf University Health Board now have the training, knowledge and understanding to care and support vulnerable people who live with dementia.
With over 4,000* people over the age of 65 living with dementia in Cwm Taf , health professionals are benefitting from extra training to be able to care, support and meet the needs of a person living with the condition.
As part of the Assembly’s recent ‘Dementia Friends’ initiative, pharmacy staff decided that they wanted to find out more in order to do the very best for the people of Cwm Taf.  Pharmacists Anne-Marie Montoto, Rhianydd Thomas and Fiona Hyde, together with pharmacy technician Hannah Lee all trained as dementia champions and then implemented the ‘dementia friends’ training throughout the pharmacy departments.
Anne-Marie says: “Training is especially important for healthcare workers who treat this patient group when they are physically unwell and at their most vulnerable.  This topped with unfamiliar surroundings when in hospital proves stressful for a person living with dementia.  In the pharmacy department we wanted to do something positive for our patients to ensure all our staff are aware of how to interact and support these patients at ward level, in the dispensary and in GP surgeries, as well as in society.
“I have been touched both personally and professionally by the plight of people living with dementia. This, coupled with my background in mental health, meant that I would be ideally suited to become a dementia champion in order to act as a role model and also deliver training to all pharmacy staff to enable them to become dementia friends.
“Dementia friends have a better understanding of dementia as well as an insight as to what it is like to live with dementia.  Each dementia friend within pharmacy has pledged a small action that means they will be more dementia-friendly in their everyday life, both inside and outside of work.
Pictured in Photo Anne-Marie Montoto (pharmacist) and Hannah Lee (pharmacy technician) Dementia Champions at Cwm Taf University Health Board
Pharmacy staff become dementia ‘champions’ to support vulnerable patients