A MENTAL health nurse originally from Darlington has set up a dementia-friendly window cleaning business called High Reach Window Cleaning Services.

Shane Longstaff works as a dementia nurse for Standby Health Care in Newcastle and has set up his business which now has clients spanning Darlington, County Durham, North Yorkshire and Teesside.

After recently changing career from an NHS community psychiatric nurse in older person’s services, Shane, who is DBS registered, has found that agency nursing allows for more time to build up his new business.

“As I’ve got experience of working with vulnerable people with cognitive impairment it seemed like a natural next step,” Shane said.

“Unfortunately there will always be chancers who take advantage of people with dementia and it’s just not right.

Read more: Darlington pupils learn how to make communities dementia-friendly

“We need to raise awareness especially for businesses that involve going into people’s houses.”

Shane said he can also support families to set up payment plans on behalf of vulnerable adults to avoid financial exploitations due to cognitive impairment or learning difficulties.

“I’ve got first-hand experience of working with these people as a mental-health nurse and you have to be understanding and calm,” Shane said, “I think it’s important to protect vulnerable clients from exploitation.”

The local businessman said it would be heart-breaking to discover that a loved one had been taken advantage of by dubious characters pretending to offer a good service.

Shane stressed the importance of a secure service for dementia-sufferers in the area and how these are people with complex needs who require more than a one-size-fits-all approach to their care.

Read more: Hairdressers urged to help make Darlington more dementia-friendly

Belinda Williams, Alzheimer's Society Dementia-Friendly Communities Coordinator for Darlington said: “It’s fantastic that High Reach Window Cleaning Services is working to become a dementia-friendly business. Dementia-Friendly Darlington works together with people affected by dementia, local communities, organisations, and people of all ages to make Darlington a place where people living with dementia feel included and have choice and control over their day to day lives. This includes making our businesses and services more dementia-friendly, so people living with dementia are understood, supported and feel confident to participate in our communities as they choose.”

For more information on the local Alzheimer's Society contact DarlingtonTeesValley@alzheimers.org.uk or call 01904 929444.


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