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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Key features of our Distance Learning Courses

This week we get some insights from Professor Dawn Brooker on our distance learning courses…

Why at a Postgraduate level?

Helping people develop their expertise in supporting people to live well with dementia is our passion. The potential to improve evidence-based practice by putting great tools into the hands of those who can really make a difference to people’s lives, is huge. Time and time again, the people who make the most impact are those in leadership roles. We pitched this course at a postgraduate level as we believe this is the most appropriate level for developing reflective and creative leadership qualities.  However, we also know that many people are capable of working at this level, but they might not already have a degree. Indeed, some of our best dementia leaders have been in this position. We have put provision in place for those who think this course fits their needs, but who don’t have a degree. During the admission process, we ask potential students to provide some pre-course writing and evidence to make sure that they can work at this level. Also, for those people for whom English is a second language, we ask for evidence that they can cope with writing at this level (IELTS 6.5).

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Taking the plunge into online teaching

This week Professor Dawn Brooker provides an insight into our online Postgraduate Certificate, so over to Dawn…

Why we took the plunge in providing a fully online postgraduate level qualification in person-centred dementia care

In January 2020, I commenced my role as Module Lead for the fully online Person-Centred Leadership in Dementia: the VIPS Approach 12 week course. This module is the mandatory module for people who want to gain the qualification of the Postgraduate Certificate in Person-Centred Dementia Studies at the University of Worcester. During most of 2019, my team at the Association for Dementia Studies and other colleagues at Worcester spent considerable time and energy in planning and designing this course. I am pleased to say that it was all worth it! Although we are living through unprecedented times and Covid-19 has made the last few months very difficult, I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to do this work. In this blog I explain some of my reasons for leading a fully online course in this area, and the features of our courses.

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CHARM update – team training day

It’s a slightly different blog from us this week as we’re using a series of images to represent a training day that took place before Christmas as part of the CHARM project. 15 care home staff members attended the training which was run by three member of the Association for Dementia Studies‘ research team: Dr Isabelle Latham, Professor Tracey Williamson and Faith Frost.

The first title slide
Welcome to the day

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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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Five years of the Hennell Award

Back in 2014 when the Association for Dementia Studies was celebrating its fifth birthday, June Hennell – one of our LINK group of experts by experience – launched The Hennell Award for Innovation and Excellence in Dementia Care in memory of her late husband Brian. As ADS has now been celebrating its tenth year, we thought we’d reflect on the award winners from the past five years.

June and Brian Hennell

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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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Worcester and beyond – ADS in an international context

In one of our previous blog posts we said that although the Association for Dementia Studies is based in Worcester, we do a lot of work in different countries. We thought we’d give a bit more information about what we’ve done over the past 10 years outside of the UK, using our ‘international infographic’ as a starting point.

Infographic about our international work

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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.

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ADS Education – the other side of what we do

Sometimes the research that we do can overshadow the fact that we have a very strong education and training team who does a lot of great work. Ably supported by our wonderful Admin team (never underestimate the importance of Admin!), our Senior Lecturers deliver a wide range of courses throughout the year.

Preparation is key

Before a course takes place, a lot of work goes on behind the scenes. We always strive to ensure that our training is up-to-date, incorporating the latest information, reports and research findings. Putting research into practice is part of what we do, and gives us a strong connection between the research and education aspects of our work.

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