3NDWG Webinar – Time for Dementia

This week Faith Frost reports on a recent webinar that she attended. Over to Faith…

On 30th November the 3 Nations Dementia Working Group (3NDWG) held another brilliant webinar all about Time for Dementia.

The webinar was led by Chris Maddocks, panel member of the 3NDWG who was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 60. Chris began by giving us an initial insight into what Time for Dementia is.

Time for Dementia is an educational programme led by Brighton and Sussex Medical School and supported by the Alzheimer’s Society. It aims to educate undergraduate healthcare students on dementia, giving them the skills and knowledge to work with people affected by dementia during their career. Pairs of students visit people affected by dementia and their carers in their homes over a period of time throughout their studies, to provide them with more in-depth understanding of dementia, reduce any misconceptions and stigma and make sure that the next generations of healthcare students know more about how to provide the right care for people affected by dementia.

We then heard from Professor Sube Banerjee MBE, Professor in Dementia at Brighton and Sussex Medical School and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health at the University of Plymouth. He provided some of the findings from the evaluation of Time for Dementia:

  1. The programme creates a greater person-centredness
  2. It improves communication between students and people affected by dementia
  3. It has made students think beyond the medical and think more from a psychosocial perspective
  4. The programme has created compassion and accurate understanding of people affected by dementia and their carers

We then heard from Trudy and Baz. Baz has a diagnosis of dementia and Trudy is his wife. They discussed how Time for Dementia had helped them and their experiences of being involved in the programme, including the opportunity to have lots of tea and cake with visiting students to their home!

Trudy provided us with some powerful insights into their own experiences of dealing with healthcare professionals and the challenges they have faced. They were very supportive of the initiative and expressed how important it is for healthcare professionals to understand how to provide appropriate care for people affected by dementia.

Mo, a medical student who was involved in the initiative, then spoke about what Time for Dementia had taught him. He explained how the programme helped him to understand the importance of collaborative work between various healthcare professionals, in order to provide the best care for someone affected by dementia and their carer. He also said it had given him a better insight into how to help carers and how to address their needs, including acknowledging carer fatigue.

Mo feels that Time for Dementia helps medical professionals to see people as individuals and enables them to provide individualised care according to the person. Mo said the programme also provides students with greater understanding around the complexity of dementia and how to address signs of agitation and be taught de-escalation methods. Finally, Mo expressed how the programme had now given him the confidence to work with people affected by dementia and their carers and provide the right care for them.

The vision for Time for Dementia is for it to be spread out more widely across other areas of the UK and to continue working with Health Education England to make it available to universities who want to be involved. You can find out more about this initiative here

Thank you again to the 3NDWG for another informative webinar and we look forward to the next one!

Connect with ADS on twitter @DementiaStudies and on Facebook @adsuow

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