A GROUP of dentists in Renfrewshire are becoming ‘Dementia Friends’ to help raise awareness of the disease.

Iain Buchanan Orthodontist is supporting Alzheimer’s Scotland this Dementia Awareness Week (May 29 to June 4) by providing staff members with access to the specialist initiative to help encourage Scotland to ‘see the person behind the diagnosis’.

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

Several clinical and support staff at the practice are already Dementia Friends trained through an official partnership with Alzheimer’s Scotland.

The Gazette:

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

The practice has also implemented measures to support people with dementia including reassuring patients and making them comfortable, communicating in an accessible, jargon-free way, encouraging family members to attend appointments if preferable, and encouraging self-directed care and decision-making.

Iain Buchanan Orthodontist is part of the Clyde Munro Group, Scotland’s leading dental group that provides NHS and private care for patients across the country.

Fiona Wood, Chief Operations Officer at 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.”