How do we enhance undergraduate healthcare education in dementia?

Wendy Grosvenor, Teaching Fellow in Integrated Care (Older Adult)

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Time for Dementia aims to try personalise education by focusing on the experiences of people with dementia, rather than their diagnosis. This innovative project transfers the focus of education of health professionals by putting relationships with families and the heart of understanding what’s really important in care for people living with dementia.

Funded by Health Education England Kent, Surrey and Sussex the 4 year collaborative project involves Brighton and Sussex Medical School (Medical students), University of Surrey (Nursing and Paramedic students), Sussex Partnership and Surrey & Boarders NHS Foundation Trusts and the Alzheimer’s Society. Time for Dementia has been running since November 2014, currently there are 4 cohorts of students (n=741) taking part in the programme, and 370 families involved. This innovative project has won a National Dementia Care Award (2016) and Laing Buisson (2016) award for best dementia training initiative.

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Student feedback demonstrates increased awareness of the family perspective of dementia, increased knowledge of dementia and positive impact on practice – skill development.

“Being able to gain understanding of what it is like living with dementia and to understand the carer/families role and their feeling/experiences”

Adult Nursing Student

 Feedback from people with dementia and their carers included feeling valued, shared learning, making a difference and feeling listened to.

 “The student’s enlighten me…they listen to me. It bought me to life.”

                                                                                                     Participant

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