Championing Dementia Care Education Globally for Health Care Professionals

l to r) Drs. Anna Jack-Waugh, Shelley Peacock and Rhoda MacRae

Dr Rhoda Macrae and Dr Anna Jack-Waugh, Alzheimer Scotland Centre for Policy and Practice members and UWS academics, were recently guests of Dr Shelley Peacock at the College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

In recognition of the limited dementia education received by health and social care professionals nationally, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) funded Dr Shelley Peacock to lead a planning grant to adapt the Scottish National Dementia Champions programme (which is led by UWS academics and delivered in partnership with Alzheimer Scotland) for a Canadian context. This work aligns with the objectives of Canada’s dementia strategy to equip health and social care professionals with the knowledge, values and skills they need to provide high-quality dementia care in hospital settings.

Scotland’s first dementia strategy highlighted a need for action to ensure people with dementia receive dementia-friendly hospital care. The Scottish Dementia Champions programme developed to meet this need has been running since 2011 and has now educated over 1000 health and social care professionals to an enhanced level of dementia knowledge and skills.

The first planning event, also generously funded by and CIHR) and held on February 13, 2020 at the University of Saskatchewan brought experts together with academics from across Canada together to:

  • Discuss the results of an environmental scan on existing dementia education for acute care providers in Canada;
  • Hear directly from persons living with dementia and their family carers about their hospital experiences;
  • Brainstorm how to best adapt the Scottish Dementia Champions programme to the Canadian context.

The following video was created for the event which explains the need for this work

At the event the planning group used a variety of approaches including an adapted nominal group technique, small group work, demonstrations of teaching methods and discussions to identify educational priorities, programme learning outcomes, teaching and learning approaches, and content for a future Canadian programme. Next steps are to explore funding options to develop, pilot, and evaluate the newly adapted Dementia Champions programme.

The full press release from the College of Nursing can be found at Dementia Champions in Canada.