A period of change

As usual, there’s a lot going on within the Association for Dementia Studies at the moment, so to help you (and us!) keep track here’s a brief update.

Coming to an end

We’ve got a few projects due to finish in the next couple of months, such as:

  • The Herefordshire Dementia Voices (HDV) evaluation, which is looking at the extent to which the HDV project met its intended outcomes of finding and hearing the voices of people affected by dementia. If you’d like to share your views on this project, you don’t have long – our online survey closes very soon so don’t miss out!
  • Worcester Life Stories, which comprises two online platforms (Know Your Place and Life Stories Herefordshire and Worcestershire) has been the subject of a few previous blogs, and again you don’t have much time to share your views and feedback with us using the following surveys.
  • The Get Real with Meeting Centres project is in its final phase of pulling all of our findings together and working out how to present and share them with different audiences. We’re consulting with various stakeholders to make sure we get it right, and have some exciting plans for creating both booklets and videos to explore different ways of making our findings accessible.
  • The ‘Embed’ phase of our Meeting Centres work is due to end soon, but have no fear! We’ll be continuing to work on Meeting Centres, primarily focusing on keeping our existing Meeting Centre network going and continuing to support new Meeting Centres to get up and running.
  • The DemECH project which has been looking at Supporting People Living with Dementia In Extra Care Housing is in the reporting phase, and we hope to be able to share the outputs with you in the near future.

Beyond research, our September cohort of students on our Postgraduate Certificate in Person-Centred Dementia Studies has recently submitted their final assignments, so best of luck to everyone!

Getting going

We do have quite a few things just starting up (and others in the pipeline that we can’t quite tell you about yet!), such as:

  • A new project is Crossing the Line, which is looking at the challenges faced by family carers relating to providing personal care for people living with dementia. Keep an eye out for more information about this project in the future as it gets going properly.
  • Another project is an evaluation of a new staff role that’s been created within a care-enabled assisted living scheme for older people, with the aim of improving engagement and reducing loneliness among their community. It’s in the early stages, but looks like an exciting project so far!
  • We’re also very pleased to be undertaking some work to develop a suite of apps based on the existing Dementia Friendly Environmental Assessment Tools. Again, this hasn’t been going for very long, but it’s already looking great – watch this space for updates!

Our new cohort of Postgraduate Certificate students has just started, and several other courses (both online and in person) have also got going in January with others starting soon. Looking slightly further ahead, we’ve got new cohorts of our Meeting Centres online training and Championing Physical Activity for People Affected by Dementia (online) starting in April, so have a look at the relevant information and get in touch if you are interested in either of those.

Nothing ever stands still at the Association for Dementia Studies, but we’ll try to keep you updated with our news in the future.

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

Course options – what can you study?

Last week our blog told you that if you’ve studied with us on any of our courses you were eligible to be nominated for the Hennell Award, so this week we thought we’d tell you a bit more about the courses themselves! Using the list from last week:

Postgraduate Certificate in Person-Centred Dementia Studies

Hopefully it won’t be a surprise to any of you that we offer a fully online Postgraduate Certificate in Person-Centred Dementia Studies, as we’ve mentioned it just a few times in previous blogs! We’ve got a range of modules available covering different aspects of dementia, and different ways to study.

  • You can do the whole Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)
  • You can do the Postgraduate Award, which is a double module (30 credits)
  • You can study an individual module that particularly takes your interest (15 credits). If you enjoy it, you can always go on to do other modules or complete the Certificate, so it’s a non-committal way to see how you get on.

Our new cohort of students has just started, but the next modules will begin in September. If it’s the sort of thing you’ve been considering, or maybe you’ve got a few questions to work out if it’s right for you, please have a look at our website and get in touch. You’re not committing to anything, so it won’t hurt to ask, and there’s no such thing as a silly question!

Courses for professional groups and organisations

It’s actually quite difficult to tell you much about these courses as there isn’t a ‘standard’ course and any education would be tailored to the requirements and particular areas of interest of the target audience. Our courses are delivered using a combination of online and face-to-face options. It’s worth noting though that we are pretty much fully-booked for 2023, so while we welcome enquiries we would be unlikely to look at course delivery for a good few months. It’s always good to plan ahead though!

Meeting Centres online training

Anyone looking to initiate and run a Meeting Centre – or anyone who works or volunteers at one – should take a look at this 5-week online course. It will support you to consider the different elements that make up a Meeting Centre and explore the practicalities of implementing it. This will include looking at:

  • The Meeting Centre ethos
  • The Essential Features of a Meeting Centre
  • The Adjusting to Change model and how this model can be used in practice to support both members with dementia and family carers
  • The physical, social and psychological effect of movement on individuals, with the opportunity for staff/volunteers to start to consider how this can be incorporated into the Meeting Centres programme.

We’ve got dates set up throughout 2023, with the next course starting at the beginning of April. You can find out more about the course and the dates on our website.

Championing Physical Activity for People Affected by Dementia

This fully online course will develop your knowledge and confidence in facilitating physical activity for people affected by dementia. You will have the opportunity to learn from experts in the dementia and physical activity fields, as well as hear directly from the those with lived experience of dementia. It’s suitable for anyone working with people living with dementia or family carers, whose role involves the provision of physical activity. You might work or volunteer in care, health, housing, sport, leisure, or community-based services.

The course will enable you to:

  • Deliver physical activities and exercise which best suit individual wishes, as well as those of everyone in the group.
  • Understand the benefits for people affected by dementia taking part in physical activity and exercise.
  • Encourage and support people to participate, and know how and why to involve family carers in physical activities.

The next iteration of the course will be starting in April, with live sessions taking place on Tuesday mornings. Please see the flyer below for more information, and use the contact details within it to ask any questions.

Hopefully that gives you a flavour of our education and training, and maybe even encourages you to think about studying with us.

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

Hennell Award Launch 2023

We’ve had blog posts about The Hennell Award before, most recently announcing the 2021-2022 winner Stu Wright, and we’re pleased to announce that nominations for the 2022-2023 Award are now being accepted.

The Hennell Award celebrates innovation and excellence in dementia care, and is opened to anyone who has taken part in one of our education or training courses. Have a look at the list below and see if they apply to you.

  • Our Postgraduate Certificate modules – have you taken your learning back into practice and made a difference to the people you work with? Maybe you’ve studied on our ‘Enabling Environments’ module, made your care environment more dementia friendly and seen the impact of those changes. Maybe the ‘Advanced Dementia’ module has inspired you to think differently about pain assessment.
  • We deliver courses for professional groups and organisations, such as care providers – think about what’s changed as a result of those courses. Maybe you’ve carried out a VIPS assessment using the Care Fit for VIPS toolkit and have made changes based on your findings. Maybe you’ve been able to share your learning with colleagues.
  • If you’ve been on our Meeting Centres online training you’re also eligible – have you set up a Meeting Centre following the course? Maybe you’ve been able to measure the impact that your Meeting Centre is having on the members and carers who attend. Maybe you’ve used what you learnt on the course to overcome a particular challenge.
  • Last, but by no means least, you can also be part of the Hennell Award if you’ve been on our Championing Physical Activity for People Affected by Dementia course (please check with us for latest dates and fees) – have you noticed a difference in your practice? Maybe you’ve introduced physical activity into your existing work with people with dementia. Maybe you’ve adapted your exercise class to make it more dementia friendly and inclusive.

Basically, there are multiple ways that you could be our next Hennell Award winner, and we want to hear from you. You can nominate yourself (don’t be shy, why not celebrate and be proud of what you’re achieving?!), or you can nominate someone else if you know a friend or colleague who is doing great work and deserves to be recognised. Find out more about previous winners and also get a copy of the nomination form from our website.

You’ve got until 3rd July to get your nominations in so there’s plenty of time to get thinking, but don’t leave it until the last minute!

Evaluating two online platforms – the final push!

In previous blogs we’ve told you about two digital platforms, Know Your Place Worcester and Life Stories Herefordshire and Worcestershire, that look at different aspects of heritage work. As a very quick recap:

  • Know Your Place Worcester uses old maps and photos to explore what Worcester looked like in the past.
  • Life Stories Herefordshire and Worcestershire enables you to create your own life story book capturing stories and photos from your past and present, and share it with others if you choose.

Since our earlier blogs there have been some developments to let you know about. The overall Worcester Life Stories project that drove the creation of the platforms has produced a book ‘Worcester Life Stories – in the words of local people’. Additionally, the Life Stories Herefordshire and Worcestershire platform has expanded their ‘life packs’ to cover topics that are specific to Hereford with more still to be added.

As we’ve said before, the Association for Dementia Studies’ involvement with the two platforms is to evaluate their impact. We want to know how people are using the platforms, what they have done as a result of using the platforms, and what impact they have had in practice. Have they helped to trigger conversations, reminiscence sessions, visits to different places? To find out we are conducting two online surveys – one for each resource – but there’s not much time left to get involved. The surveys are anonymous, and it would be great if you can use the links below to get involved and provide some feedback. Whether you’ve used a platform once or you use it every week, any feedback you can provide is really valuable to us, so thank you in advance.

The logos for Know Your Place Worcester (a picture of the UK with a magnifying glass over Worcester showing a bit of a map) and Life Stories Herefordshire & Worcestershire (a speech bubble saying 'Herefordshire & Worcestershire' above the words 'Life Stories')

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

Having an impact

Starting a new year can often make people a bit reflective, and here at the Association for Dementia Studies we’re no different. We’ve been involved in numerous research projects over the years, with a lot of that research feeding into and underpinning our education. While we’re proud of what we’ve done, it tends to be a bit odd when a project finishes as we don’t always get to see what happens next. Who reads our reports and takes any recommendations on board? Who uses our resources and makes a change as a result? Who takes their learning back to the workplace and makes a change to their practice or work setting? Who benefits from what we’re doing and are they local, national or even international?

Basically, how do we know that we’re having an impact and how significant is that?

In terms of our education, we do get some feedback from students if their course involves completing a short project or if they apply for the Hennell Award where they are required to show what they’ve done as a result of being on one of our courses. With our research it can be trickier, especially if the output is a resource that can be freely downloaded. How can we reach people if we don’t know who they are? We often don’t have the time and resources to do any follow-up activities either, as other research projects have generally taken over.

So what can we do?

We’re currently in the process of exploring different options, but a couple of things we’ve already put in place are:

  • Providing students on our Postgraduate Certificate modules with a template document encouraging them to keep a record of any changes they make to their practice as a result of their studies. While this can be useful for us if we want to ask students for any examples, it can also give the students themselves a bit of a boost to see what they’ve achieved.
  • Having feedback surveys available alongside some of our resources, such as the CHARM framework manual. When people go to download a copy of the manual they will also see a link to a survey asking them to say how they’ve used the manual in their work. It doesn’t always pan out as it relies on people remembering and being willing to complete the survey once they’ve had time to use the manual, but it’s better than nothing.

Hopefully we’ll have other options available soon, but if you ever see any requests from us asking for feedback please consider taking the time to get involved. We’d really appreciate it, even if it’s not particularly positive, as it will help us to improve and know that our work is having some form of impact. You can also just email us with any comments or examples of what you’ve been doing, you don’t need to wait for us to ask (please send anything to j.bray@worc.ac.uk and put ‘impact/feedback’ in the email subject line). Thank you!

Standing on the shoulders of giants

In the final Meeting Centres webinar of 2022 we got a bit nostalgic by taking a look back at how far the work around Meeting Centres has come in the UK, as well as looking at current work and plans for the future.

Dr Shirley Evans, Interim Director of the Association for Dementia Studies (ADS) and guru of all things Meeting Centre-related, began the webinar by providing a bit of history about Meeting Centres and how they came to be in the UK. Shirley recognised the roles of Professor Rose-Marie Dröes and Emeritus Professor Dawn Brooker MBE, showing the two following short videos to provide context and extra information about Meeting Centres.

It was interesting to see how much progress has been made since the videos were originally filmed, not just in the UK but also in the Netherlands, and also what has remained constant such as the underpinning ethos of supporting people to adjust to the changes brought about by a dementia diagnosis and the Essential Features of a Meeting Centre.

Shirley handed over to Jennifer Bray, ADS Research Assistant, who picked up on some of the points raised in the video clips to reiterate how Meeting Centres first came to the UK and how various research projects have supported their development and spread. The current focus is on the Community of Learning and Practice where people at different stages of setting up and running Meeting Centres can ask questions and share their knowledge and experiences, as well as updating and maintaining resources that were developed as part of the original Meeting Centres research.

Slide showing the progression between different Meeting Centre projects from the 1990's in the Netherlands to the present

An important factor of Meeting Centres is that they are evidence based, so Jen provided a summary highlighting some of the main findings from the research so far, such as improved self-esteem, feelings of happiness and sense of belonging for people with dementia, and family carers experiencing less burden and feeling better able to cope. The spread of Meeting Centres across the UK was also acknowledged, starting with one pilot in Droitwich Spa, moving to further demonstrator sites in Leominster, Powys and Kirriemuir, and now being at around 50 UK Meeting Centres with more emerging almost on a weekly basis.

Jen finished by looking at the possible scope for research involving Meeting Centres, ranging from Meeting Centres being the core focus of a project, to Meeting Centres being used as an example alongside other services, or as a place to pilot different interventions with a group of people affected by dementia.

Slide showing the different ways in which Meeting Centres might be involved in research

Research Associate Thomas Morton picked up the baton and talked about some of the research that has involved Meeting Centres in various ways. For example, SCI-Dem included Meeting Centres as an example of a community-based intervention, we’ve got a PhD studentship focusing on Meeting Centres, the Worcestershire Meeting Centre Community Support Programme aimed to set up multiple Meeting Centres across Worcestershire, and the Leominster Meeting Centre Heritage Project used the Meeting Centre as a base for various heritage-related interventions.

Thomas provided a bit more detail about our ongoing ‘Get Real with Meeting Centres’ project which is due to end in early 2023. Although it’s been the topic of a previous webinar, it was useful to have a recap of the project and view it in light of the evolution of Meeting Centre research in the UK. It’s looking at the experiences of people attending, running and support Meeting Centres and is currently in the process of analysing all of the data to find out what it all means! Based on what people are saying, the findings will be focusing on four main areas or ‘systems’:

  • Membership
  • Finance
  • Internal relationships
  • External relationships

Thomas and the team will be exploring each area in greater detail to identify different aspects (with supporting quotes from the data) relating to sustainability. An example is shown below.

Slide showing the four areas or systems, a breakdown of 'membership' and an example saying 'IF use of a venue is not fixed - THEN this may discourage members - BECAUSE they will find it disorientating and upsetting and may not have confidence in the MCs future' plus a selection of quotes to support this view

We will be pulling all of the information together around a number of different themes, and producing a series of recommendations to (hopefully) help Meeting Centres be more sustainable in the future. These will be disseminated through various project outputs with different audiences in mind.

Slide showing some of the themes arising, such as 'Membership: What's attractive to people, what might put people off, issues with referrals, links with H&SC etc.' and 'Venue choices and location issues (inc. transport and rurality)'.

Thomas ended his section by looking at potential future Meeting Centre-related research, mentioning a current bid looking at the role of food in different settings, where Meeting Centres are included alongside other initiatives such as dementia cafes and lunch clubs. Similarly, other ideas such as physical activity could use Meeting Centres as an example or base for piloting possible interventions.

Shirley brought the webinar presentation to an end by pulling everything together in an overall summary. Ultimately, in the past eight years there has been significant progress and developments across the UK, despite the pandemic.

Slide summarising some of the main achievements around Meeting Centres, such as 'over 50 funded MCs with significant momentum in a number of areas' and 'the development of a 5-week online course for MC staff, volunteers and trustees which has now run four times and has evaluated very positively'.

We’re currently working on a three- and five-year plan to consolidate the current national and regional networks, with some activities being devolved to different nations. We’re hoping to get to a point where there is a self-sustaining model in place, and a central body established to provide continuity, connection and quality assurance.

Our overall vision though? To have a Meeting Centre in every town.

Thanks to our presenters, and if you missed the webinar or want to watch it again you can find the recording here.

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

Connect with Meeting Centres on twitter @MeetingCentres

Different countries, same goals

For this week’s blog we hand over to Teresa Atkinson to hear about her experience of presenting at a symposium in the Netherlands.

Mantelzorger Samen – Caregiver together

My recent trip to the Netherlands taught me many things: some new words, some new skills but above all, how aligned we are in our aims to support the post diagnostic needs of those affected by dementia.

In 2019 it was our pleasure to welcome Marleenje Prins to the Association for Dementia Studies (ADS) for three months whilst she worked on her PhD. Marleenje lives in Amsterdam and works at the Trimbos Institute in Utrecht. The Institute focuses on a wide range of issues including addictions, youth and older adults. I was kindly invited to take part in their recent symposium: Hoe om te gaan met de diagnose dementie? (How do we deal with a diagnosis of dementia?). The symposium was presented both face-to-face and online, attended by over 80 participants from across the Netherlands. The main focus was to share the findings of the evaluation of the Dutch version of the SHARE project. I was also able to ‘share’ the post-diagnostic support work taking place in the UK. A recording of the symposium is available via this link (Teresa’s presentation starts at 3:09:50)

Montage of three photos showing: the four presenters at the symposium stood in front of the slides, the building where the symposium took place, and bikes on a bridge over a canal in Amsterdam

The Netherlands has a population of 17.4 million and around 290,000 people living with dementia meaning their percentage at 1.7 is slighter higher than our 1.3% in the UK. Similar again to the UK, three quarters of the people with dementia live at home.

As you will know from previous blogs, our Meeting Centre work derived from that developed in the Netherlands, so there is a great tradition of post-diagnostic support there including:

  • Daytime activities (dagbesteding): emphasis is on fun and relaxation

  • Day treatment (dagbehandeling): guidance is in the hands of a multidisciplinary team with specialized carers

  • Day care (dagopvang, called living room project): emphasis on drinking coffee and eating together, playing games, etc.

  • Care farms (zorgboerderijen) with specialized care for people with dementia

  • Meeting Centers (ontmoetingscentra) with specialized care for people with dementia

The focus of Marleenjte’s current work is also very aligned with the work we are doing here at ADS. The LAD Study (Living arrangements for people with dementia) has been running since 2008 and is currently about to begin its new wave of data collection considering, amongst other things, what type of living arrangements and integrated care work best to support the quality of life for people with dementia. We are looking forward to sharing findings from our DemECH project with Marleenjte’s team which focuses on how people with dementia can be supported to live well in Extra Care Housing.

I am hopeful that strong ties can be maintained with Marleenjte and her team. We may have a different language and work within different countries, but our issues and our goals are the same. We want the best possible life for people living with dementia and the families and friends who support them.

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

Championing Physical Activity for People Affected by Dementia

This week we hand over to Dr Chris Russell who reflects on our online course ‘Championing Physical Activity for People Affected by Dementia’. Over to you Chris…

People affected by dementia (individuals living with dementia and also members of their family and close friends) want to continue doing things they have always enjoyed. Why would this not be the case? I know, because of research that we have completed here at the Association for Dementia Studies. This has explored activities that people can participate in perhaps for interest, for a sense of fun, or purpose, encapsulated by the term ‘leisure’. Such things contribute to making us who we are; they are part of everyday life.

Leisure includes activities as diverse as painting and listening to heavy metal music, with everything in between (and extending out on both sides!). It forms part of the jigsaw of everyday life. What one person enjoys might not be the preference of the next, but there should be something there for everyone. Taking part in physical activity is an aspect of this jigsaw, and physical activity is brimming with diversity too as it can include going for a walk, dancing, playing table tennis, going to the gym etc. It might not be every person’s first preference (although for many it is in one shape or form), but when one considers just how varied these activities can be, it is a feature of most of our lives.

Our research also highlighted that there are many people and services wishing to offer opportunity for people affected by dementia to take part in physical activity, but who often lack the skills and confidence to do so. There are already fantastic examples of good practice happening in leisure centres, sports clubs, community settings, care homes and hospitals, but there are plenty of others keen to contribute, who currently hesitate.

This was the background to the design and delivery of ‘Championing Physical Activity for People Affected by Dementia’, an online course extending over eight weeks, whose aim is to meet that need – to offer learners the knowledge and confidence to provide physical activity for people affected by dementia. The programme, generously supported through its development phases by both the Leisure Studies Association and Active Herefordshire and Worcestershire, has reached an exciting stage. Following a successful pilot earlier this year the second ever run of the course has just concluded, with arrangements in place to offer it for the first time to learners recruited by an active partnership, i.e. a charitable organisation responsible for supporting grassroots physical activity across a whole city or county in England.  

At such a moment it is timely to reflect on some of the learning from the most recent run of the course:

  • There is interest in offering physical activity to people affected by dementia as a leisure choice. Over the last few weeks, for example, we have worked with learners from close by in Worcestershire and Herefordshire, but it has also been a great pleasure to welcome colleagues from London, Ireland, Scotland, the USA, the Czech Republic and Germany, providing support or care in settings including hospital wards and care homes, and the wider community. We were also delighted to welcome a colleague facilitating walks in the highlands of Scotland, and another offering Irish Dancing adapted for people affected by dementia.
  • The group of learners, coming from such diverse work or voluntary settings, provided a positive foundation for the programme which enabled the tutors to weave in theory and practice from dementia, physical activity and leisure contexts. As the course progressed these worked in combination to provide each learner with unique and valuable insights to incorporate in their own practice.   
  • The range and nature of the physical activity offered by the learners, in the myriad of settings where they operate, highlights that there remains uncertainty about just what ‘facilitation of physical activity’ means, and what might be ‘best practice’.        
  • A community of learning was fostered by participation, which extended beyond the course itself. For example, contact details were shared, and learners put each other in touch with further opportunities for professional development. This included attendance by several of them on Age Scotland’s online Body Boosting Bingo, which proved very popular!        

So, we have gathered plenty of learning ourselves on what works well and what could be fine-tuned as we move into the next phase of ‘Championing Physical Activity for People Affected by Dementia’. It is a great pleasure to be able to work with people committed to supporting people affected by dementia live lives of quality, in particular with regards to activities and interests that individuals wish to uphold and progress. The new year signals exciting times ahead.

If you would like to find out more about the course, please see our flyer and get in touch with us using the details provided on it. You may also be interested in a poster about the pilot course that we developed for the recent UK Dementia Congress.

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

Designing for Everyone

A suite of environmental assessment tools for health centres (also known as primary care centres/GP premises) has just been launched. These tools have been written by the Association for Dementia Studies for Assura plc who design, build and lease health centres across the UK.

Assura wanted to ensure that their health centres were supportive to people living with dementia, learning disability, autism and neurodiversity. It is thought that this is the first time work has been undertaken to look at the design features that are important to all these groups. The Patients Association and Dimensions, a charity that support people with learning disabilities and autism, provided reports on patients’ views of the health centre environment which for the first time confirmed how important the environment was to the patient experience and the delivery of high quality patient care.

We found through reviews of the literature and best practice that despite the vast majority of patient contacts in the NHS taking place in health centres – at least in normal ‘non-Covid’ circumstances – little work has been undertaken to look at the design of these premises for patients including people living with dementia and other neurodiverse conditions.

Designing for Everyone focuses on the aspects of the built environment that are known to be important for people who are neurodiverse, including those who have a neurodegenerative condition such as dementia. What has been particularly interesting is the finding that, from the limited research available, there appears to be significant commonality in the design features that are important to all those living with dementia, autism and neurodiversity. This work has confirmed the importance of understanding that an individual’s responses to sensory stimuli are personal as everybody experiences neurodegeneration and neurodiversity differently.

With the expected increase in dementia amongst people living with learning disabilities and autism this work has implications across all health and social care settings.

Image showing the front covers of the full environmental assessment tool the summary environmental assessment tool and an easy read version of the primary care building assessment tool

The suite of tools, including easy read versions provided by Dimensions, are available free to download from the Dimensions website.

A poster about this work was recently displayed at the UK Dementia Congress, and a copy can be found below.

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

UK Dementia Congress 2022

After a pause due to the pandemic the UK Dementia Congress was back to being held in person, and this year it took place at Aston University Conference Centre on 8th-9th November. Although it was a smaller affair that previously, it provided a great opportunity to get back to networking, and made it possible for many of the Association for Dementia Studies (ADS) team – past and present – to meet up en masse. (I’m not sure what the collective noun for a group of ADS colleagues would be, but perhaps it’s best not to go there!)

We had a good presence at the conference including:

Montage of photos showing Shirley and Nathan presenting next to slides projected onto a screen.
Montage of photos showing our stand and some of the leaflets and resources on it
  • A symposium on Meeting Centres which brought together people from established Meeting Centres in Kirriemuir and Powys, a new Meeting Centre in Sandwell and emerging Meeting Centres in Hampshire, as well as highlighting the importance of our online Meeting Centre training.
Montage of photos showing the presenters in action during the symposium
  • A presentation from Dr Becky Oatley on the DemECH project, looking at “What is the ‘extra’ in extra care housing?”
photo of Becky presenting in front of a room of people
  • A whole range of posters about various projects and resources.
Montage showing photos of our six posters
  • A book launch featuring the ‘Reconsidering Dementia’ series, with the book ‘Considering Leisure in the Context of Dementia’ being edited by members of the team and including chapters that they have authored.
  • An early bird movement session co-facilitated by Nicola Jacobson-Wright, using dance as a way to reconnect post-pandemic. It got everyone off to a great start and sounded like a lot of fun.
  • A symposium on our education offerings, covering not just the Postgraduate Certificate but also our Meeting Centre training, Championing Physical Activity course, and bespoke courses for individual care providers. The session was delivered by our teaching team of Dr Chris Russell, Mary Bruce, Teresa Atkinson and Nicola Jacobson-Wright, and it was great to include two short video clips to highlight some of our course content created by people with lived experience of dementia, and feedback from some our students. As part of the symposium we were privileged to present the 2022 Hennell Award to student Stuart Wright, recognising their work after studying on our module ‘Expert practice in delivering person-centred dementia care’.
Montage of photos showing the teaching team presenting, Stu receiving his award, and some of the ADS team past and present

Attending other sessions also gave us the opportunity to learn about all sorts of different work going on across the country, trigger new ideas, make new connections and expand our networks. Thanks go to the organisers and also to our own admin team for making sure that we all got their ok (despite the disruption caused by the on/off rail strikes) and we had all the resources for our stand.

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