Royal British Legion Industries will provide specialised dementia training to their 120-strong nursing workforce based in Kent, following a government grant, in order to tackle the growing lack of care for dementia patients.
The military and disability charity are set to receive £350,000 for the programme which will be delivered in partnership with Dementia Care Matters and will see all of those who care for elderly veterans in RBLI’s Aylesford village receive year-long dementia care training – while more than 30 staff members will receive university-level tuition.
Supported by the Aged Veterans Fund, funded by the Chancellor using LIBOR funds, the programme will also support the training of three additional nurses. Two of which will be newly qualified and will be offered refurbished accommodation, financed by the grant, on the charity’s village before becoming ambassadors of the programme following its completion late next year.
This is the latest in a series of developments by RBLI which will ensure the expansion of the charity’s dynamic and integrated village environment, where first-class modern care services are available to veterans and their families and people with disabilities.
Director of RBLI Living James Rudoni, who will take part in the programme alongside the charity’s other directors, said: “The programme offers a great opportunity to tackle the ever-increasing dementia care problem whilst also creating a ‘culture of care’ within the organisation’s village.
He added: “Dementia is fast becoming the most significant medical issue of our time and as a result the care industry must take necessary measures now to tackle it but, due to the closure of care homes, reductions in government funding and a severe shortage in nursing staff nationwide, very few care providers are in a position to take those measures.”
“However, RBLI want to change that. This programme will enable RBLI to offer holistic care packages to those most in need, with all areas of the organisation involved – from the senior management team to the skilled carers who work directly with our residents on a daily basis.”
In 2015, in Kent, approximately 21,000 people over the age of 65 were predicted to have dementia – this figure is said to rise to around 25,000 by 2020.
Of the residents in RBLI’s nursing home and assisted living accommodation, Gavin Astor House and Queen Elizabeth Court, up to 50% have dementia or struggle with dementia-like symptoms.
“This training programme, in which all participants will have the opportunity to be academically assessed, will enable RBLI to offer a service with our carers who will have a comprehensive understanding of the condition, resulting in an exemplary standard of care and thus a better quality of life for those who are suffering with it,” James added.
“We thank the Aged Veterans Fund for helping us to be at the forefront in the battle against dementia.”