I wanted to take part in the Virtual Dementia Tour because I’ve met a lot of people who are living with Dementia through attending Singing for the Brain sessions, and I thought it would help me understand the condition better and understand what challenges those people are facing on a daily basis.
It was an amazing experience and I’m really glad I did it.
I wanted to be a PCSO as I’m from a policing background – my mum and dad were both police officers. As well as meeting people from the community and helping to deal with local issues, one of my favourite parts of my job is doing dementia visits. I’ve been doing them for about two years now and I’ve probably been to see about 60 people in that time.
A dementia visit is basically going to see someone who is living with dementia and taking as much information as we can, and keeping a record of their information on our police systems. This means if they go missing, we already have a lot of crucial information on file and can start the search faster.
Sgt Phil Boyd has been with Bedfordshire Police for 6 years after joining Durham Constabulary in 2003 and transferring in 2010. For the past few weeks he has been attending ‘Singing for the Brain’ sessions, run by the Alzheimer’s Society. He explains why he’s been attending, and how he hopes it will make a difference…
I first heard about ‘Singing for the Brain’ at a Dementia Champions Forum organised by our Chief Inspector Jaki Whittred, who leads on mental health for the force. We have been holding these, as well as Dementia Friends sessions, pretty regularly over the past year and we encourage people to attend because dementia is such a complex illness, and it’s important that everyone across the force has some understanding of it.