Pharmacy staff receive dementia training

Staff taught to recognise behaviours
  • Deborah Condon

All staff in Boots Ireland pharmacy outlets have received dementia awareness training.

Currently in Ireland, around 64,000 people are living with some sort of dementia.

Research carried out by the Alzheimer's Society of Ireland has shown that during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of those affected were concerned about their ability to carry out tasks, such as shopping and obtaining prescriptions.

In response to this, Boots Ireland set out to develop a training module that would help its staff to identify people with dementia. The module also includes way in which staff can help those with the condition.

The training was developed with the 'Dementia: Understand together' campaign, which is an ongoing campaign that aims to change the culture around dementia in Ireland.

According to Fiona Foley, national coordinator of 'Dementia: Understand Together' in communities, "many national partner organisations have taken up the call for action to make their services and spaces inclusive of people with dementia".

She commended Boots Ireland for ensuring that all staff "have a good understanding of dementia, and that people with dementia and their families have a positive retail experience and feel they are supported and heard".

"People like me, who are living with dementia, need to use pharmacies a lot, so it's really important that we understand each other," noted Frank Golden, who is a member of the Irish Dementia Working Group and has dementia himself.

The training has been rolled out to over 2,000 staff members across 89 stores. They were given an insight into recognising behaviours that could indicate that a person has dementia. They were also taught to identify common challenges a person with dementia may encounter in a store environment and how they can support them.

For more information on the 'Dementia: Understand Together' campaign, click here. If you need information on dementia or support, call the Alzheimer Society's helpline on 1800 341 341, Monday to Friday from 10am to 5pm and Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

*Pictured is Martha Ryan, head of HR and Joe Scallan, head of stores with Boots Ireland, alongside Fiona Foley, national coordinator of 'Dementia: Understand Together' in communities.


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