"FIRST GROUP - DEMENTIA AWARENESS TRAINING FOR BUS DRIVERS" PROGRAM
Program available in certain areas of the United Kingdom.
Dementia sensitivity awareness and training is needed for bus drivers to better able to understand, communicate with and interact with those who may initially be viewed as difficult passengers. Once bus drivers are aware of how to identify those with dementia and dementia symptoms they are in a better position to provide a safe and secure environment for everyone.
Dementia sensitivity exercises are used in the awareness training. Some of the exercises bus drivers are asked to do include:
-Draw pictures from memory
-Write down things and people providing meaning to their lives and then give some of those pieces of paper away
-Take a memory test
Bus drivers also learn about the different kinds of dementia, the brain and how drivers can help confused passengers. Comforting gestures such as smiling, making eye contact, giving them extra time look for their pass, to board and get off at their stop.
The Alzheimer's Society helped First Group with the training curriculum and believes that bus drivers can help those with dementia to remain independent.
First Group has made a first step in dementia sensitivity training and hopes that other transport companies will create their own dementia sensitivity training program. First Group operates in the United Kingdom, USA and Canada, and holdings include: First Student, First Transit, Greyhound, UK Bus, UK Rail.