People with dementia and their families often find themselves isolated and excluded from aspects of everyday life. They also face a number of difficulties in securing the care and support that they deserve. We are here to change that. We are working to change attitudes to dementia and to support people involved in the delivery of dementia care to ensure it is the very best that it can be.
Dorset is home to one of the oldest populations in England, yet it has the lowest rate of dementia diagnosis in the UK. This is not as good as it sounds; it does not mean there are fewer cases, but in fact suggests that the voluntary, statutory and private service providers here are having difficulty in providing accurate diagnoses.
The Dementia Strategy Implementation Plan suggests that only a third of those with dementia are likely to be diagnosed, leaving many people with dementia (and their families) without the support and services they need.
How are we doing it?
BU Dementia Institute embodies the university ethos of fusion in research, education and professional practice. We are developing our work in five thematic areas:
- Dementia awareness, education and knowledge translation: We have worked with carers and people with dementia in our region to explore their experiences of dementia and are in the process of conducting a survey of care professionals in the region. We are exploring creative ways to engage with the public and promote awareness and understanding of dementia. We are actively engaged in exploring knowledge translation opportunities with collaborative work underway with colleagues from India, Australia, Canada and Sweden with early discussions about working with developing countries.
- Dementia Friendly Environments: We are undertaking consultancy work in relation to the design of new buildings and care concepts, are exploring the use of leisure/gaming technology in dementia care and are working towards securing income to further explore falls reduction and way finding.
- Improving services and care provision: ongoing work in this area includes a Memory Advisory Service Evaluation, provision of Cupcake and Technology clubs, end of life care evaluation and an international project promoting rural service provision.
- Dementia Friendly Tourism (DFT) and Leisure: we are writing up our study of DFT in Dorset, which has attracted media attention, and seeking external funds to take this work forward.
- Leadership and staff development: we undertook a review of the Higher Education Dementia Curriculum on behalf of the Higher Education Dementia Network and will be developing a range of leadership activities in the coming months.