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Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support Services (ADSS) visits Thames-side fire station in Gravesend

Firefighters took a break from saving lives to bring a smile to the faces of a group from the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Support Services (ADSS).

Users of the Messenger’s Charity of the Year were invited along to Thames-side fire station in Coldharbour Road, Northfleet.

Crews spent a morning talking to the group about their work, showing them the equipment they use to help keep people safe and how some of it is used.

The group enjoyed chatting with firefighters but the day had a serious message

The effects of fire can be devastating and when someone has dementia, hazards such as leaving the gas unlit or forgetting that a pan is boiling dry on the hob can be a real concern, so the trip was of real use as well as being an enjoyable day out.

Angela Farrell, the charity’s fundraising coordinator, said: “It was such an informative and enjoyable session for us all.

“The group was captivated by the informative talks and demonstrations and they continued talking about it over lunch.

A group from Alzheimer's and Dementia Support Services visit Thames-side station

“One of the gentlemen had worked previously as an engineer and got into a detailed discussion with the crew. It really made his day. We are very grateful to the firefighters at Thames-side for always providing such a warm welcome and an interesting visit for our members.”

It was organised by firefighter Mike Edwards, who has been arranging such visits to the station for several years.

He finds that the social days out help people with dementia feel valued, understood and part of their local community.

Crews spent a morning talking to the group about their work and showing them the equipment they use to keep people safe

"Communication is an important aspect of activities and on occasions we find people will suddenly remember a past event or person and talk enthusiastically about the memory,” he said.

“Coming to the fire station helps the group feel involved in community activities and we really enjoy their visits.”

If someone you love is living with dementia, ADSS and Kent Fire and Rescue Service can help them to stay safe and independent in their own homes for as long as possible.

Alzheimer's and Dementia Support Servcies is the Messenger's Charity of the Year

You can call or email KFRS to arrange a free safe and well visit, where firefighters can visit your loved one in their home at a time to suit so that you can also be with them.

KFRS can also provide special equipment that can make a big difference to help them continue to live a fulfilling and safe life. Call 0800 923 7000 or email home@kent.fire-uk.org

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