Thousands of bus drivers to be taught about dementia

Posted under Blog on January 3rd, 2013 by Editorial Team / No Comments


Thousands of bus drivers around Britain are taking part in special training to help them assist passengers with dementia.  The dementia sensitivity awareness and training is part of an initiative announced by Prime Minister David Cameron, aimed at increasing understanding of the needs of people with dementia. 

As part of the training, drivers working for First Group undertake a series of tasks such as drawing pictures from memory and memory tests.  They are also briefed on how different forms of dementia affect the brain. 

Participating drivers are given practical advice and guidance on how they can best help passengers who are confused or in need of extra assistance, including smiling and making eye contact, letting the passenger sit down so they have extra time to compose themselves, and not pulling away quickly if they seem unsteady on their feet.

Many of the drivers taking part have admitted that if someone seems troublesome on a busy bus, their first instinct is to try to remove that passenger.  However, they now have greater awareness of what the problem might be, particularly if there is no smell of alcohol on the passenger’s breath.

The Alzheimer’s Society helped First Group with the development of the training curriculum and believes that bus drivers play an important role in helping those with dementia to remain independent. 

Andrew Chidgey, director of external affairs at the Alzheimer’s Society, says helping sufferers in this practical way is vital.  He said: “What this identifies for the drivers is they have a really important role in helping people in their community to remain independent. That’s also true for people like newsagents and other workers.”

Around 3,000 drivers for bus company FirstGroup will have completed the training by February 2013.  


Date of prep. January 2015                     RXUKPDGL00004t

Tags: bus drivers, dementia initiative, dementia sensitivity awareness




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