What’s going on? A whistle stop tour of what ADS is doing at the moment

We often have a tendency to be so busy that we never take a step back and take stock of what we’re actually doing, so here’s a quick update summary of the various projects, education, consultancy and other work we’ve currently got on the go. (Apologies to colleagues if I’ve missed anything out!)

In no particular order…

SCI-Dem (research project) – it’s well under way and making good progress in terms of its realist review. The first search has been done and articles are currently being reviewed and included/excluded as appropriate. The SCI-Dem blog is also up and running, providing regular project progress updates.

Namaste Care Intervention UK (research project) – we’re into the analysis and reporting phase – eek! We’re also working on the cost benefit aspect, writing journal articles, and developing the Community of Practice. Our celebration event takes place in September so we’re planning that too.

Dementia Carers Count (evaluation) – it’s almost at an end as we’re finalising our report on their Dementia Carers Support Courses – another eek! Over 100 carers have attended the DCC courses with around 80 being part of our evaluation.

Dementia Adventure in a Box (research and evaluation) – evaluation of the activity sessions continues, and delegates are becoming more confident running activities. We had a great visit to a care farm where we got to help feed the animals and Teresa got to hold a chicken (see earlier blog post for more info!). We’re looking to do more visits over the summer – if the weather ever improves!

Meeting Centres Support Programme (research and evaluation) – there has been a lot of interest from groups wanting to investigate setting up their own Meeting Centre. The evaluation tools have been developed and are almost ready to pilot, and we’re starting to deliver training. Pioneer Workshops have started taking place and more are planned over the next few months.

Housing and Dementia Research Consortium (HDRC) – the annual HDRC conference took place on 23rd May, with a focus on assistive technology for people living with dementia. For more information about HDRC please contact the HDRC Research Coordinator Dr Julie Barrett.

PhD students – our PhD students are at different stages, but all progressing well. They’re all still smiling (I think!) and hopefully some will be submitting soon – eek for them!!

Our new PG Cert and PG Award (education) – we’re developing a new Postgraduate Certificate in Person-Centred Dementia Studies and Postgraduate Award in Professional Development: Expert Practice in Delivering Person-Centred Dementia Care. The modules will be delivered online, which is exciting but slightly scary too. For more information, please contact us at dementia@worc.ac.uk

Delivering education courses – as well as a recent trip to Gibraltar, we’re also delivering education in the UK to several care home providers, housing organisations and Councils. Some of our education courses have also been linked with our first foray into e-learning which is great experience ahead of our new online modules.

Consultancy activities – we’re looking to work with a couple of flooring companies to help them understand the importance of flooring for people with dementia and how their designs and styles can have an impact. We’ve also been developing resources to help village halls become dementia friendly, and providing advice on a dementia friendly dining experience. Linking our consultancy to our education by combining site visits with bespoke training has also been working well.

University teaching (education) – we’re providing input on various courses within the University of Worcester, including delivering sessions and workshops for a student nursing conference on dementia which is taking place next week. Attending the University of Worcester’s Learning and Teaching Conference last week has also given us lots of useful contacts and ideas to follow up on.

Care Fit for VIPS website (free online resource) – all of the links within the toolkits have been checked and updated where needed, and we’ve added some new resources to help staff in care homes, domiciliary care and day centres improve the care they provide for people with dementia. We’re also looking at developing a couple of new versions for other care settings, so watch this space. (Not sure what this is? Have a look at an earlier blog post)

Environmental assessment tools (free resources) – the tools are still proving to be popular with recent downloads including Belgium, Spain, USA and Australia as well as the UK.

Anything else?

In terms of dissemination activities, several articles are in progress for different projects, past and present, including MeetingDem, Namaste, Making of Me, SCI-Dem, Admiral Nurse Competency Framework and Green Dementia Care.

We’re looking at numerous presentations at conferences and events over the coming months. Some are confirmed and some have had abstracts submitted, but they include:

We’ve also got several ideas that we’re working on for bids and grants and a number of potential organisations that are interested in what we offer, so watch this space for more news in the future!

Phew, I’m tired just reading that.

Me too. If anyone wants me I’ll be having a lie down in the corner!


Family Care Symposium and ADS 10th Anniversary Celebration

Our Family Care Symposium which took place on 12th June provided a great opportunity to share our work with a wider audience but also to celebrate the Association for Dementia Studies (ADS) being established 10 years ago.

Montage of images from the event

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From Amsterdam to Worcester, a dive into research on people with dementia and their family carers in the UK – part 2

Hi again. In my previous blog I described who I am and why I am currently working for three months with the Association for Dementia Studies at the University of Worcester. I have been here for almost two months already and I would like to share with you some things that I noticed.

But first, I would like to start by mentioning how everybody has made me feel very welcome. Not only my colleagues at the University, but also all the people I met during my visits to care homes, at workshops and courses. That has been a good basis for making me feel comfortable in asking questions and learning about research on and support for people with dementia and their family carers in the UK.

Continue reading “From Amsterdam to Worcester, a dive into research on people with dementia and their family carers in the UK – part 2”

HDRC knowledge and learning exchange event 2019 – Assistive technology for people living with dementia: the aspirational and the achievable

The annual Housing and Dementia Research Consortium (HDRC) conference took place 23rd May, and the HDRC Coordinator Julie Barrett provides a summary of the event. Over to you Julie:

The theme of this year’s HDRC conference was assistive technology that can support daily living, social participation and leisure for people affected by dementia.

Just over 50 delegates attended and the day went smoothly, thanks to the help of the Association for Dementia Studies team. Delegates were from a mix of professions and organisations including occupational therapists, housing and care providers, adult health and social care services, NHS Trusts, Local Authorities, third sector organisations, academics and architects. The delegates seemed engaged and interested throughout and were willing to express their views and ask questions.

Continue reading “HDRC knowledge and learning exchange event 2019 – Assistive technology for people living with dementia: the aspirational and the achievable”

International Clinical Trials Day

Monday 20th May was International Clinical Trials Day. For those of you who might not have heard of it before, it is celebrated around the world to recognise the day that James Lind started what is often considered the first randomised clinical trial aboard a ship on May 20, 1747…

…The HMS Salisbury of Britain’s Royal Navy fleet patrols the English Channel at a time when scurvy is thought to have killed more British seamen than French and Spanish arms. Aboard this ship, surgeon mate James Lind, a pioneer of naval hygiene, conducts what many refer to as the first clinical trial. Acting on a hunch that scurvy was caused by putrefaction of the body that could be cured through the introduction of acids, Lind recruited 12 men for his “fair test.” To learn more about what happened during the trial, follow this link.

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Dementia Dwelling Grants – What are they and do they make a difference?

We’ve recently been involved in evaluating a pilot project which provided small aids and adaptations to people with dementia living in their own homes in Worcestershire, and thought we’d tell you a bit more about it.

What is a Dementia Dwelling Grant?

The Dementia Dwelling Grant (DDG) is aimed at improving the wellbeing of people with dementia to enable them to remain independent in their own homes. The DDG is not means-tested, but is based on an assessment of a person’s individual needs and the equipment is provided free within a defined allocation. Local Dementia Advisors carry out the assessments and recommend small-scale aids and adaptations that could be useful to people.

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Happy birthday to us!

It only feels like 5 minutes ago that we were celebrating ADS being 5 years old, and suddenly we’re 10!! How did that happen? To celebrate we thought we’d have a bit of a look back over the amount of work we’ve done since May 2009.

Our work

We’ve been rather busy over the last 10 years carrying out lots of research projects, evaluations and consultancy activities. Some of our projects have been relatively short-term lasting a few months, while others have spanned many years. Nothing like a bit of variety to keep you on your toes!

Once a project is finished, our work doesn’t end though. We want people to know what we’ve found and get our work out there. After all, putting research into practice is what we’re about. To that end, it’s perhaps no surprise that we’ve done a lot of different activities to share our knowledge, including presentations, workshops, posters, journal articles, books, book chapters and events. Spread the word!

Continue reading “Happy birthday to us!”