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Tuesday May 21 2019


Manchester City Council gives staff time out for dementia carers course


Manchester City Council becomes first in Greater Manchester to give staff time out to attend a dementia communications training course that supports family carers



Manchester City Council gives staff time out for dementia carers course

Manchester City Council has become the first council in Greater Manchester to allow staff to have time out to attend a carers course to help them improve communications with loved ones living with dementia.

The council set up a four-week training course in conjunction with Empowered Conversations – a dementia communications provider that helps people stay connected or reconnect with someone living with dementia.

Eight employees from different departments at Manchester City Council attended the sessions in work time to learn new techniques to communicate better with their loved ones. And since attending the course they have stayed in contact with each other via a Google Hangouts group online – to support each other with emotional and practical advice, as well as meeting up in person.

This Dementia Action Week (20 - 26 May 2019) aims to unite people, workplaces, schools and communities to take action and improve the lives of people living with dementia – and start a conversation. The employees of Manchester City Council, who attended the course, say their experience of Empowered Conversations has helped them to open up and has helped them to continue to support each other.

Jon Atkin, Area Manager for Parks and Green Spaces, attended the course to help improve communications with his mum, who has Alzheimer’s disease, and to support his dad, who is the main carer.

He said: “We feel grateful that work gave us the opportunity to go on this course within work time as it would have been difficult to have found the time if it was not.

“Everyone who was on the course, had not come across each other before. Now, after being on the course, we have formed relationships that mean we feel comfortable to ask each other advice on care homes, for example, and provide emotional and practical support and share information to support each other.”

The Empowered Conversations course, which is run by social enterprise – Six Degrees – is free to carers and takes a different approach to communication in dementia care that is designed to help people living with dementia and their carers to find ways to stay connected, handle emotional stress and navigate the day together.

Councillor Bev Craig, Manchester City Council's Executive Member for Adult Health and Wellbeing, added: "We care about the wellbeing of our staff and want to be able to support them through what can be difficult times in their home lives. We were delighted to be able to put on the Empowered Conversations course for those who are caring for a loved one with dementia – and are so pleased that they learnt a lot and have continued to support each other.” 

For more information on the Empowered Conversations course go to www.empowered-conversations.co.uk 

PHOTO: Jon Atkin, who attened the course , with three of the other eight Manchester City Council employees.

 



"We care about the wellbeing of our staff and want to be able to support them through what can be difficult times in their home lives. We were delighted to put them on the Empowered Conversations."
Councillor Bev Craig, Manchester City Council,








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