DementiaGreater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service is supporting Dementia Awareness Week with the service’s Safe and Well visits.

The awareness week runs from Sunday, May 15 to Saturday, May 21, and GMFRS firefighters and community staff will focus part of the home visits on helping people living with dementia and also providing advice to prevent the risks of developing it.

Those suffering with dementia are at increased risk of fire due to symptoms including forgetfulness and getting easily distracted.

GMFRS has signed up to the Dementia Action Alliance, which is a group of organisations committed to improving the quality of life for people with dementia living in Greater Manchester.

The Service has also set up partnerships with Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust (MMHSCT), Greater Manchester West Mental Health Foundation Trust (GMW), Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust (PCFT), and 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (5BP).

Paula Breeze, Health and Social Care Services Co-ordinator, said: “By carrying out Safe and Well interventions we are helping people to reduce their risk of developing dementia.  We may provide advice and support around a range of health and lifestyle factors which are thought to be associated with the risk of developing dementia.

“We also have Safe and Well volunteers who are able to visit people in the community who are socially isolated to help them to engage with activities and social opportunities within their communities.  This is particularly relevant to people who have dementia as the disease can be very isolating in some cases.

“GMFRS also carry out falls risk assessments which result in many people at increased risk being referred on to their local falls prevention service.  This is particularly relevant to dementia as falling can sometimes be a symptom.”

Advice to prevent the development of dementia includes:

Stop smoking

Control high blood pressure

Control blood glucose levels if suffering with diabetes

Keep cholesterol at a healthy level

Only drink within NHS guidelines

Eat a healthy, balanced diet

Maintain a healthy weight

Keep physically and mentally active

Take time for mental wellbeing