THIS Dementia Awareness Week, North Ayrshire-based dental practices are further committing to supporting people living with the disease.

They are doing so by providing all staff members with access to a specialist initiative.

The nationally recognised initiative ensures people living with dementia are supported in the local community and continue to access much-needed oral healthcare.

As part of the awareness week, which began on Sunday, May 29, Three Towns Saltcoats Dental Care, Three Towns Stevenson Dental Care and Kilwinning Dental Care are supporting Alzheimer Scotland by becoming Dementia Friends.

In doing so, they are backing the charity in its bid to raise awareness of the disease and to encourage Scotland to "see the person behind the diagnosis".

A number of clinical and support staff at the practices are Dementia Friends trained through an official partnership with Alzheimer Scotland.

The on-site team have received specialist training and information about dementia and the varying ways it can affect an individual.

Measures that each practice has implemented to support people living with dementia include reassuring patients and making them comfortable within the practice, communicating in an accessible, jargon-free way, encouraging family members to attend appointments if preferable and encouraging self-directed care and decision making.

Hardeep Basi, associate dentist, Three Towns Saltcoats Dental Care said: “As part of our commitment to providing sector-leading care at community level, we have partnered with Alzheimer Scotland to ensure all of our patient-facing team members are ‘Dementia Friends’ trained.

“From the moment an appointment is required, through to the dental care they receive, communication with the patient and everything in between – we have a range of considerations that we take in to account to ensure that patient is cared for appropriately.” 

Three Towns Saltcoats Dental Care, Three Towns Stevenson Dental Care and Kilwinning Dental Care are part of the Clyde Munro Group, Scotland’s leading dental group that provides NHS and private dental care for patients across the country.   

Fiona Wood, chief operations officer, Clyde Munro said: “Across the Clyde Munro Group, we have over 1,000 people who are Dementia Friends.

"It’s imperative to the protection of accessible oral healthcare that we are appropriately trained at every local practice to support our patients living with dementia - and their families - in accessing dental care. 

“We are incredibly proud of the partnership we have with Alzheimer Scotland and believe our role extends beyond the walls of our practices, we want to support people in their communities, at a local level, and being Dementia Friends allows us to do this.”