Care homes are improving the opportunities for residents with dementia to keep active in their local community but with that comes certain responsibilities to help the community to be more dementia friendly. Activity Coordinators are often called upon to arrange transport or to support others to arrange transport to a variety of venues, and, whether or not they intend to accompany them on their journey, here are a few things they should consider passing on to their local transport companies.
Research charity Rica and Innovations in Dementia CIC worked together with members of the Camden Minds Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project (DEEP) group to investigate the experience of people with dementia when using taxis and minicabs, as well as how taxi services (both booking a cab and the journey itself) could be improved. All four of the Camden Minds members that participated have Alzheimer’s disease or another type of mild to moderate dementia and they all travel by taxi or minicab at least once a month.
The investigation participants booked a taxi journey to a chosen workshop venue and, after the journey, they took part in one-to-one and group discussions about their experiences of that journey and of previous ones.
The participants agreed on a number of recommendations which could help taxi and minicab firms to improve both the booking process and the journey itself for passengers with dementia. These fell into three areas:
Identification: Booking staff should inform the passenger about the driver and vehicle and give full and accurate details of the booking to the driver. Drivers should identify themselves to the passenger and confirm the journey details.
Assistance: Booking staff should ask if a passenger needs assistance and pass this on to the driver, who should also check whether the passenger needs help.
Awareness: Booking staff should be aware that some passengers like having the same driver, when possible. Drivers need to consider the passenger’s mood and the driving conditions before talking during a journey. In addition, people with dementia don’t always want to explain this to booking staff or drivers.
A full copy of the report is available at: http://bit.ly/Ricadementiaresearch