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Welsh Ambulance Service dementia team attend global conference

THE Welsh Ambulance Service’s dementia team has attended an international conference in Poland.

Alison Johnstone, the Trust’s Programme Manager for Dementia based in Carmarthenshire, and Chella Rowles, Dementia Coordinator based in Cardiff, have recently returned from the 36th Global Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International.

The event, which took place in Krakow brought together experts from across the world to share information on achievements, innovations and best practice in dementia research, care and policy, while continuing to address and challenge the perceptions around dementia.

As the only ambulance service to physically attend, the duo was invited to share the Trust’s work on creating dementia-friendlier environments and the use of reminiscence therapy to support people living with dementia when using its services.

Alison said: “It was a delight to represent the Trust at the longest running international conference on dementia, which attracts delegates from all corners of the world.

“It was an amazing opportunity to share some of our improvement work, which has included the introduction of dementia-friendly flooring, blinds and colour schemes to our non-emergency fleet, while also celebrating the achievements we have made in Wales and further afield.”

The Welsh Ambulance Service is recognised as a Dementia Friendly Organisation by the Alzheimer’s Society and in 2023 it was awarded a Dementia Hero Award for Professional Excellence.

Chella said: “Attending my first international dementia conference in person was a fantastic experience.

“We had many fruitful conversations with different organisations from different countries about our work, including in depth discussions with those from Scotland and Australia.

“We are making massive strides in the Trust’s dementia sphere.

“Showcasing the Trust’s work, like our current offer of reminiscence therapy to help people living with dementia feel less stressed and anxious while they use our services, and learning about so many great projects happening across the world to help improve the lives of those living with dementia, their family and carers was inspiring.”

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