Excellent Response to our Public Dementia Awareness Events.

The Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice, a joint partnership between University of the West of Scotland (UWS) and Alzheimer Scotland, hosted a number of public dementia-related events at the University’s Hamilton Campus last week.

These community engagement events were supported by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York and helped to give members of the public an insight into how staff and students at UWS are shaping the future of dementia care.

On Thursday 13 August, from 12.30pm to 4pm, a series of mini lectures and information sessions were held where visitors got the opportunity to hear the experiences of people who received a diagnosis of dementia whilst still in employment. Family carer and employer perspectives were also given, plus an update on the Alzheimer’s Society funded research project at UWS on dementia in the workplace.

This was followed by an inaugural lecture from UWS Visiting Professor Iva Holmerova, Charles University in Prague. The lecture, which ran from 4.30pm to 5.30pm, saw those in attendance receiving a thought provoking address from Professor Holmerova about Dementia care in her home town of Prague and dementia projects that she has been involved in that incorporate dance. Iva, who is the Director and a consultant geriatrician at the Centre of Gerontology, Prague. She is also the president of the Czech Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics and the Chairperson of the Czech Alzheimer Society.

On Friday 14 August members of the public were invited to undertake a tour of the University’s dementia related teaching and learning environment. This event, which ran from 9.30am to 12.00 noon, included a visit to the University’s dementia friendly hospital ward, reminiscence room, and a chance to talk to staff and students. The event also saw the official launch of the University’s teaching and knowledge exchange dementia friendly environment by Karen Wilson, Dean of the University’s School of Health, Nursing and Midwifery.

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Dr Karen Watchman, Depute Director of the Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice said: “More people are being diagnosed with dementia whilst in employment and more events such as this are needed to increase awareness among employers of how staff can be better supported. Community engagement is an important part of our work and we were delighted with the public response to these events.”