West Hampstead Fire Station helps people with dementia

Thursday, 22nd August 2019 — By Helen Chapman

West Hampstead fire station

Collette from Camden Memory Service, Tracey McDermott and Ross Powell at West Hampstead fire station

Strobe lights and vibrating pads under the mattress could help save elderly people’s lives, fire experts said this week.

Age UK Camden, the Camden Carers Service and firefighters from West Hampstead fire station were giving out advice on dementia services on Friday.

Nazifa Hussain and Jill Pay from Camden Carers Service

Among the suggestions were vibrating pads and flashing lighting that are connected to fire alarms.

Ross Powell, crew manager at West Hampstead, said: “If you are living with dementia or Alzheimer’s, contact us so we can carry out a home visit and check your fire alarms.

“What people also might not be aware of is they can call the fire service if they are locked in or locked out because you could be a potential fire risk; say, if you have left the hob on.

“Some people have vibrating pads under the mattress or strobe lights which go off in case of a fire.”

John Madden, 95, Hugh Wynn, 73, Elizabeth-Ann Colville, 88 from Great Camden Minds

The group was also joined by members of Great Camden Minds, a Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project (DEEP).

Tracey McDermott, dementia wellbeing lead at Age UK Camden, said: “Quite often we find that some people think they don’t need additional help so when we do visit people, we help people write signs so they remember what to do. It could be something like ‘remember to shut the door’, ‘remember your keys’ or a sign up on the door saying ‘call 999 in emergency’. One gentleman I recently went to visit had a picture of keys by his door. Those visual prompts can be helpful for people.”

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