Richmondshire taxi drivers given dementia awareness training

Richmondshire District Council chairman, Councillor Clive World, district council leader, Councillor Angie Dale, Doug Waugh from Dementia Forward, and Tony Marshall of Tony and Gill's Taxis and UK Minibus Executive Private Hire.

Richmondshire’s taxi drivers have been trained in dementia awareness.

The 200 drivers licensed by the district council have worked with Dementia Forward after a carer raised problems dementia sufferers sometimes experience when using taxis.

‘It is not unusual for someone living with dementia to express a desire to return to the familiarity of childhood,” said dementia support advisor Janice Smith

Dementia awareness training is important for giving taxi drivers confidence in these situations, and helping people with dementia to safely maintain their independence, said trainer Fiona Andrews.

“A recent conversation with a client’s daughter revealed that her father had become fixated on returning to his home town in the Midlands.

He had approached a Richmond taxi driver with the request.

Thankfully the driver declined the fare, but he might not have done so if the request had been to take him to Darlington, leaving the man alone in the town.

“Living with dementia can often become isolated very quickly after diagnosis which can be very detrimental to their wellbeing and can hinder them from accessing support at the time they need it the most.

“Being able to get out and about is essential for some, and the local taxi service can become a lifeline.

“Knowing that the taxi company have had some awareness training and will understand the issues that come with living with dementia can make families feel so much more reassured.”

District council chairman and council dementia champion, Councillor Clive World, said: “This has been a unique project and every driver that has taken the course will display a sticker in their vehicle giving confidence to the passengers and their families.”

Working with Dementia Friendly Richmondshire, the training was provided by Dementia Forward which soon hopes to be running day care services in Richmond.

If you or someone you know would like support around dementia, call Dementia Forward’s Helpline 03300 578592.

Please also get in touch if you are interested in dementia awareness training for your business or community group.