UKDCIn it’s tenth year, the UK Dementia Congress brings together healthcare professionals, people with dementia and their carers, and was held in Telford at the beginning of November.

What can professionals learn from people with dementia?

One of the first sessions of day three of the Congress was entitled ‘What can professionals learn from people with dementia?’. Lucy Whitman spoke about a new book she compiled with the valued contribution and support of people with dementia called ‘People with dementia speak out’. She highlighted some of the key points from the book project:

 

  • Peer support groups are fantastically valuable – meeting others with dementia
  • Some people with dementia now find life more rich and fulfilling
  • People with dementia want people to listen to them

 

The session also heard from people with dementia who contributed to the book, and their views on support. They highlighted:

  • the need to understand that there is always a reason for the things people with dementia do
  • regular exercise and cognitive stimulation help
  • we can all enable people with dementia to have value and joy and purpose
  • the importance of more awareness of dementia in the South Asian community

Connecting communities

How to hear from the less-often heard: Alzheimer’s Society Connecting Communities Project with BAME groups in the UK

Tim McLachlan and Alli Anthony from Alzheimer’s Society spoke about awareness of dementia and inclusion for people with dementia among BAME groups, and difficulties because of stigma.

Time for Dementia

The ‘Connecting communities’ session also included Sophie Mackrell from Alzheimer’s Society talk about the Time for Dementia programme, currently recruiting through ‘Join dementia research’. The programme sees medical, nursing and paramedic students spending regular time with families affected by dementia over a two-year period to help train the healthcare professionals of tomorrow and improve the way that people with dementia are cared for by health services.

Sophie spoke about how the programme is a novel approach to dementia education for undergraduate health professionals. She also highlighted how this type of model can be useful in dementia education for the students:

  • A unique opportunity to really understand how dementia affects the person and their family beyond receipt of a diagnosis
  • Understanding of primary care, wider social care and health system for those using it, as well as the impact of co-morbidities
  • Impact on future career choices
  • Evaluation suggests that such programmes enhance the acquisition of skills, positive attitudes and knowledge

 

Peterborough Dementia Resource Centre (one-stop hub)

Claire Stockwell-Lance and Kevin Bowyer spoke about Peterborough Dementia Resource Centre, which is designed that people with dementia and their carers feel part of the community, and is accessible.

Services at the centre include:
* Singing for the Brain
* Therapeutic Gardening
* Dementia-Friendly Service Providers e.g. Hairdresser
* Support and Information


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