Different country, similar challenges

This week we hear from Teresa Atkinson about a recent work trip to Madrid (we’re not jealous, honestly!)…

A trip to sunny Madrid in the heart of an English winter is always an attractive proposition, especially when it is to share learning and understanding around long-term care with other countries. The Association for Dementia Studies was privileged to be invited to the Fundacion Ramon Areces in Madrid to their conference discussing Long-Term Care: International Trends and Challenges in Spain. 

The conference was founded on the 2021 Report of the José María Martín Patino Chair, which identified the need for urgent cultural change in the long-term care model of care in Spain, putting people at the heart of its reformulation. Speakers from around the world took to the stage to share their ideas. The first session focused on international experiences of service provision to support future care planning and strategic development. David Grabowski, a Professor of Health Care Policy, from Harvard Medical School, kicked off the session talking about innovations in long-term care in the USA, followed by Adelina Comas, Assistant Professorial Research Fellow at the London School of Economics, who focused on the future of long-term care in the post-Covid era. The session wrapped up with a discussion on the challenges of autonomy and dependency care in Spain by Gregorio Rodríguez Cabrero, Professor of Sociology from the University of Alcalá de Henares.

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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)

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Alzheimer Europe Conference

In mid-October 2022 Alzheimer Europe, an umbrella organisation of 41 national Alzheimer’s associations from 37 European countries, held their annual conference, for the first time in two years. The conference, which took place in Bucharest, Romania for the second time, was in person and on-line and brought together people, professionals, and institutions (government and non-government alike) around a shared mission to “change perceptions, policy, and practice in order to improve the lives of people affected by dementia”.

Association for Dementia Studies duo Dr Shirley Evans and PhD student Nathan Stephens attended, as well as having the opportunity to present their work at the conference. In this week’s blog they provide a whistle-stop summary of their key highlights and reflections of what was a packed programme.

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Meeting Centres in Scotland – a story in two parts

In the past week two event took place relating to Meeting Centres in Scotland, and our Research Assistant Jen Bray was able to attend both. Here’s what she did.

Part 1

On Friday 2nd September, the Dunblane Meeting Centre had an open afternoon to promote the expansion of their existing Memory Café, and their next step in becoming a full Meeting Centre. The event was primarily aimed as local health and social care professionals, organisations and individuals to promote the Meeting Centre and make people aware of what was available on their doorstep. There was a great turnout with a real mix of people, including some potential new members and carers who were able to meet the staff and volunteers, and get a feel for what a Meeting Centre is.

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Championing physical activity

We’re proud that after a successful pilot earlier this year, our online course on ‘Championing physical activity for people affected by dementia’ will be running again later this year. We are grateful that the funding we received from the Leisure Studies Association and Active Herefordshire & Worcestershire enabled us to successfully develop and pilot the course earlier this year. For the next iteration we are charging a very reasonable rate to attend the course. With this in mind we thought we’d tell you a bit more about how the course was developed and piloted, and what difference it made to students. Thanks go to other members of the Association for Dementia Studies for sharing their slides from a recent presentation about the course at the University of Worcester’s Learning and Teaching Conference.

The course logo, showing a stylised figure with its arm outstretched, and the course title 'Championing physical activity for people affected by dementia'
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Alzheimer’s Disease International

This week we hand over to Thomas Morton who looks back at his recent experience of the Alzheimer’s Disease International Conference…

ADS goes to the Global Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International

At the start of last month (June) some of us from the Association for Dementia Studies (ADS) got to represent our work – and learn about that of others – at the Global Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International, or ADI 2022. It’s not often that this prestigious international conference is held so close to home: This year it was in London, at The Oval (yes, the world famous cricket ground!) and it was the first time it had been held physically since the onset of the global pandemic. Hence it was a real buzz to be in the capital, meeting other researchers face-to-face.

Image showing the Alzheimer's Disease International backdrop which has a red silhouette of a city skyline.
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Our vision for 2020 (or what’s coming up in the next few months!)

A couple of our blogs this year have been reflecting on what we did towards the end of last year, so we thought that this week we would look ahead instead, and see what we’ve got coming up over the next few months. It doesn’t cover our regular education courses or ongoing project work as this would take ages, but focuses on different events and conferences. Ready?


10th (University of Worcester Arena) – Worcestershire Dementia Meeting Centres Information Meeting. An initial meeting for interested parties to find out about the £540,000 being invested in setting up new Meeting Centres across Worcestershire. You can book a free place or find out more.

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The Arts and Dementia: Shaping the future

On 10th December a group of interested parties gathered at The Hive in Worcester for an event hosted by the TAnDem (The Arts and Dementia) PhD students to share their research from the TAnDem Doctoral Training Centre. Following a welcome by Professor Dawn Brooker and PhD student Karen Gray, we had an elephant-based ice-breaking exercise with the premise being to consider how difficult it is to eat an elephant. By dividing an elephant into a few key areas – health, care, arts, education, research and advocacy – and getting us all to consider where our individual skills fit, we quickly discovered that we were a very diverse group covering all areas. Hopefully this indicated that if we all work together eating an elephant isn’t quite as daunting a task as it would initially seem.

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Reflecting on 2019 – celebrating success

As 2019 rapidly draws to an end (How did that happen? I’m sure it was only May a few weeks ago!) we’re taking a brief pause to look back at some of the highlights* from the past year. Projects ending, projects starting, new education ventures, articles, conferences, special occasions and awards, 2019 has had it all.

* There’s been a lot going on this year and we don’t have time to mention it all, so apologies to anyone who feels we’ve missed something out!

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ADS at UK Dementia Congress

Last week the Association for Dementia Studies (ADS) travelled to Doncaster for UK Dementia Congress 2019 which was held at the racecourse.

The ADS stand

The event was opened with Professor Dawn Brooker introducing two of our TAnDem PhD students, Ruby Swift and Karen Gray, who talked about their work. They were followed by a relatively intense debate around the role of ‘environmental lies’ in care homes (e.g. fake bus stops, murals).

Dawn, Ruby and Karen presenting

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