School pupils to be taught about dementia

School children will learn about dementia thanks to a unique awareness pack which is being rolled out across East Dunbartonshire.
Launch of the new dementia awareness packLaunch of the new dementia awareness pack
Launch of the new dementia awareness pack

The pack, the first of its kind in Scotland, was developed in partnership with East Dunbartonshire Council and East Dunbartonshire Dementia Network, along with primary school pupils.

Over 1900 people in East Dunbartonshire have dementia and, as the population ages, more young people will come into contact with someone with dementia, either through family, friends, neighbours, people in their community and through the media.

The innovative resource has been designed to be used as part of Curriculum for Excellence for primary school and lower secondary school pupils to increase their understanding of dementia.

Councillor Michael O’Donnell, convener of social work, said: “It is important that young people gain some understanding as to the challenges that the older residents of East Dunbartonshire experience as many pupils will have family members with the illness or will come into contact with people who are living with dementia.

“Teaching young people about dementia will hopefully remove any fear of the illness or stigma in relation to a person who has dementia.”

The pack, which is divided into six themes exploring what dementia is and how it can affect a person, as well

as their family and friends, was also developed in partnership with East Dunbartonshire Community Health Partnership, Alzheimer Scotland and Ceartas.

It was launched at Bearsden Academy where former pupils of Baljaffray Primary, who took part in the development of the teaching pack, now attend.

Henry Simmons, chief executive of Alzheimer Scotland, said: “We are delighted to see the hard work and dedication of East Dunbartonshire Council, Baljaffray Primary and all the other partners come to fruition in this great new schools’ pack.

“Many families are directly affected by dementia and improving the knowledge and understanding of young people is key to changing society’s attitudes and de-stigmatising this illness.”