Increasing awareness about dementia

11 January 2023

As our Hospitality Services Manager, Chris Willis plays a vital role in ensuring SCCQ delivers high quality hospitality services across our 13 homes and villages. In his ‘spare’ time Chris volunteers as a member of the State Emergency Service (SES).

Part of the SES duties to the community are to assist emergency services in land searches for missing people. As a part of the Eastern group SES division, Chris saw an opportunity for SCCQ to partner with the Brisbane SES to educate their members and provide first-hand information and training on the behaviours and expected actions that SES personnel may experience upon finding a missing or lost person with dementia.

Jodi Butler (Head of Integrated Communities at SCCQ) attended the eastern SES training facility as a guest speaker and provided an information session to the SES Easter Brigade. There were approximately 40 SES personnel in attendance, many of whom had previously conducted a number of searches but were still limited in their specific knowledge around dementia patients.

Jodi’s presentation was exceptional with real first hand knowledge on dementia, the types of dementia, and what to expect upon finding the missing person. Role plays were conducted with SES personnel on how to act and manage the different types of dementia symptoms such as aggression, fear, confusion or uncertainty.

The local SES were extremely pleased to gain first-hand and factual information about dementia, and the training will assist the local SES Eastern brigade in professionally managing a missing person in the moment they are found. SES members were engaged with Jodi’s presentation, having many of their questions answered and many myths put to bed.

Southern Cross Care thanks Jodi for her time and for planning such an informative training session, and Chris for organising the event and the connection.