Tagged / Ageing and Dementia Research Centre

Using Drama and Storytelling in Dementia Care

 

Irma Konovalova, Danielle Wyman, Dr Ben Hicks and Prof Jan Wiener, members of the ADRC, have been working on ERASMUS+ funded project ‘Using Drama and Storytelling in Dementia Care’. This project has demonstrated the potential for creative psychosocial initiatives to support well-being in people with dementia and their care partners. The team have been working in collaboration with people with dementia to develop a storytelling and creative drama programme that aimed to enhance communication within this population and promote a positive sense of identity.

The Story2Remember team have produced the third output “Storytelling and alternative communication methods in dementia care: Toolkit for family members”. This toolkit aims to enhance the skills of family members of people with dementia through the use of  storytelling as well as alternative communication methods. The toolkit includes a brief description of the most common situations in which communication difficulties may arise, it describes how storytelling and alternative communication methods can be used in these situations and provides step by step guidelines to implement activities that can support communication between people with dementia and their family.

We asked dementia professionals from the partnering countries, England, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria, to review this toolkit and provide their feedback. Professionals identified it as a useful toolkit to support communication between family members and people with dementia. They thought it is well supported by empirical evidence and suggested that this toolkit provides new and alternative ways to communicate with people with dementia that may stimulate memories and positive feelings. One of the professionals reported: “the activities that have been created and outlined at the end of the booklet are an excellent way of developing communication and enhancing the caring relationship between the person with dementia and the family member”. Some professionals also suggested that this toolkit raises awareness of the importance of communication.

Reviewers also commented on how professional and engaging look of the toolkit looks and that it has been written and designed very well. There are a lot of useful tips for family members and practitioners to enhance their communication techniques with people with dementia and it has been tailored to specific difficulties people with dementia and their family may encounter throughout the progress of dementia. The toolkit emphasises individual differences and encouraged people to address them. Reviewers also enjoyed the case study examples of people using story-telling communication techniques to support the person with dementia: “These added some real-life examples to the text and helped to show how they can work in practice”. They suggested that the communication methods encourage originality and creativity.

Reviewers liked the novel ideas and suggestions to support communication, especially the Adventures: “I think the Adventures are excellent and provide a really useful, creative and engaging mechanism for family members to communicate with the person with dementia. I think these activities will be of real benefit to family members who find it difficult to communicate with the person with dementia and are struggling for activities to engage them. This is likely to be even more pertinent in the current global context, where people are self-isolating at home and are likely to be in desperate need of mental, physical and emotional stimulation”.

Professionals also highlighted some areas for improvement that could be addressed in the future. For example, some practitioners mentioned that it may become challenging to use some of the suggested strategies once dementia is more advanced. They wanted more information about how to adapt communication strategies to different stages of dementia, especially if people with dementia eventually loose the ability to communicate. It may have also been useful to address the emotional impact that the progression of dementia has on family members and care partners and how these emotions can be managed.

Even though majority of professionals suggested that the toolkit is very easy to follow and that it is written clearly and contains a logical flow to it, there were suggestions about how the large amount of information provided by the toolkit could be presented in a more accessible format, for example by providing links within the text and by avoiding terms such as ‘personhood’ and ‘PwD’, especially for the lay audience.

Generally, however, the reviewers provided very positive feedback, reporting that the toolkit met their expectations and the content was excellent. They emphasised how much they enjoyed reviewing the toolkit and how novel it was.

Thank you for your research, implementation and desire for improvement of the tool!”

I am really glad that this new approach has been taken for the benefit of people with dementia and family members. It is a tool for all family members who care for people with dementia, whether they are in the early or advanced stages of the disease.”

“Thank you for the shared experience!”

I think this is a really excellent project that demonstrates the importance of creative initiatives to support the well-being of people with dementia and their family members. It will be important to publicise the toolkit widely and so ensure that family members develop the knowledge and skills to run these beneficial activities”.

The toolkit can be downloaded on the project website: https://story2remember.eu/

BU Dementia paper published today

Today the international sociology journal Sociological Research Online (SAGE) published the paper  ‘Dementia as Zeitgeist: Social Problem Construction and the Role of a Contemporary Distraction’  [1].  Using notions of social problem construction and sociologies of legitimacy, this article explores dementia as Zeitgeist that has captured imaginations but as such is contingent and therefore precarious building an edifice that may be limited and may occlude dangers for people living with dementia.  This paper is written by two BU academics: Prof. Jonathan Parker (Department of Social Sciences & Social Work) and Dr. Vanessa Heaslip (Department of Nursing Science) and former one BU staff  member Dr. Clare Cutler .  Clare is now at the Wessex Institute for Health Research & Development.

 

Congratulations

Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen

CMMPH

Photo of the week: ‘Active ageing in place’

Telling a story of research through photography

The ‘photo of the week’ is a weekly series featuring photographs taken by BU academics and students for our Research Photography Competition which took place earlier this year.

These provide a snapshot into some of the incredible research taking place across the BU community. 

This week’s photo of the week was taken by Dr Michelle Heward and is titled;

‘Active ageing in place’

The onset of physical and mental impairments in later life may mean that mobility declines and individuals need to adjust or change their levels of activity accordingly. Older people therefore require choice of physical activities that are flexible to ensure all abilities are catered for. The GO Active Gold Programme in Oxfordshire encourages people in rural areas age 60 and over, to live more active lifestyles, by setting up local physical activities for all abilities. With funding received from Sport England, they employed rural Activators, to work in partnership with local communities to deliver a varied, inclusive and social physical activity programme. To date, the programme has engaged over 3000 participants from 81 different villages.

Under the ‘Activity and Inclusion’ research theme the Ageing and Dementia Research Centre are currently evaluating how far the project has improved the physical and mental well-being of older adults; encouraged stronger community spirit by reducing loneliness and social isolation through participation in activities; developed a sustainable physical activity programme. Research team: Dr Michelle Heward (Post-Doctoral Research Fellow), Amanda Adams (PhD Student) Prof Jane Murphy (Professor of Nutrition)

If you have any questions about the Photo of the Week series or the Research Photography Competition please email research@bournemouth.ac.uk

The Ageing and Dementia Research Centre was at the Caring UK Conference – 11th April 2019

The Caring UK conference was held at Bournemouth Football Club’s Vitality Stadium. The doors opened promptly at 08.30 for attendees to visit the various exhibition stands that were on show. This included our very own stand displaying our guides and workbooks around the topic of Eating and Drinking Well with Dementia. These were very popular with attendees and helped showcase the work that the centre does. The stand was run by Caroline Jones (Administrator for the centre) and Dr Michele Board (Co-Director of the centre).

As part of the conference Dr Michele Board was giving a talk about ‘Insight into the Lived experience of Living with Dementia – A Virtual Reality Experience’. Having spoken to a lot of attendees in the morning ahead of Dr Michele Board’s talk in the afternoon, they were all very much looking forward to hearing Michele speak.

Overall, it was a very worthwhile conference to attend having met a variety of useful contacts from the care industry and it also really helped raise awareness of the work that the Ageing and Dementia Centre does.

Image of the Eating and Drinking Well with Dementia: A Guide for Care Staff that was on display.

Image of the Eating and Drinking Well: Supporting People Living with Dementia workbook  that was on display.

ADRC sharing research and making impact at key dementia conferences

In the last few weeks, members and a PhD Student from the Ageing and Dementia Research Centre (ADRC) have attended the latest dementia conferences and an awards ceremony.

28th Alzheimer Europe Conference, Barcelona (Spain)

Prof Jane Murphy, Dr Michele Board and Yolanda Barrado-Martín attended the 28th Alzheimer Europe Conference (29th to 31st October 2018). Jane presented a paper on her nutrition research ‘Innovative training to improve nutrition and hydration in people living with dementia’. Dr Michele Board presented a poster ‘Evaluating the impact of the virtual reality app “A walk through dementia” on students learning and practice’ centred on her research funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK. Whilst Yolanda presented a poster ‘What are the views of people living with dementia and their informal carers getting involved in Tai Chi?’ based on the findings from her PhD project which forms part of the TACIT Trial.

During the conference, over 800 international researchers met in Barcelona to learn about research, policy and practice around the theme ‘Making dementia a European priority’. Amongst the attendees to the conference, there were also people living with dementia and their carers who took the floor in different sessions. The main aim of those living with dementia was that they want to be involved in decision making processes in their day-to-day life and care, including their participation in research (i.e., advocating for co-creation approaches). Specific themes of the conference covered policies, care approaches and services for people living with dementia and their carers, as well as their rights in our society, and strategies to prevent and treat dementia.

13th Annual UK Dementia Congress, Brighton

 Prof Jane Murphy, Dr Michele Board, Dr Michelle Heward and Dr Ben Hicks attended the 13th Annual Dementia Congress (6th and 8th November 2018). Dr Michelle Heward presented a poster on the ‘implementation and evaluation of the Dementia Education And Learning Through Simulation 2 (DEALTS 2) programme’ a project funded by Heath Education England (HEE) to develop and evaluate an education toolkit for acute care settings. During the first plenary session, Minister of State for the Department of Health and Social Care Caroline Dinenage MP highlighted that “staff training for dementia is increasing with programmes like DEALTS 2”. As part of the dissemination funding for the DEALTS 2 programme, Michelle and Jane were also invited to talk to conference attendees visiting the HEE stand about the programme evaluation. Dr Michele Board presented her research funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK in a paper ‘Evaluating the impact of the Virtual Reality app ‘A Walk-Through Dementia’ on year one health care students’ clinical practice’.  Dr Ben Hicks presented a paper ‘Game Plan: promoting gaming technology amongst dementia practitioners’ based on his European funded research.

 

 

The annual conference attracts practitioners, academics and people with dementia and carers to discuss the latest innovations and research in the dementia field. The motion this year was ‘the right to services is more important that disability rights for people with dementia’ and stimulated a dynamic exchange of opinions during the many plenaries, parallel sessions and workshops

9th National Dementia Care Awards 2018, Brighton

Following the Dementia Congress, on the 8th November Dr Michelle Heward and Dr Michele Board were invited to represent the DEALTS 2 team at the National Dementia Care Awards, following the programme being shortlisted for the Best Dementia Care Award. The evening was full of glitz and glamour with the dress code ‘black tie’. Following a three course meal, finalists and the winners of the 14 categories were announced and celebrated. We had a fantastic night celebrating the hard work and dedication of so many individuals and teams from the dementia field, and although we did not win the category, we were delighted to be shortlisted for this prestigious national award.

Attendance at these events was a great opportunity to showcase some of the current research projects being undertaken by the ADRC team, hear the views of those living with dementia and their carers, and network with practitioners and researchers in the dementia field.

ADRC and HEE showcase ‘DEALTS 2’ at ‘Dementia 2020: The Next Phase’ in London

On Tuesday 17th April 2018, the Ageing and Dementia Research Centre (ADRC) were invited to join Health Education England (HEE) to showcase the Dementia Education and Learning Through Simulation 2 (DEALTS 2) programme at ‘Dementia 2020: The Next Phase’ in London. The event, hosted by Govconnect, provided an opportunity to consider progress on the ‘Challenge Dementia 2020 Implementation Plan’ assessing whether commitments have been meet so far. Commitments of the plan aspire to make England the best country in the world for: dementia care and support; for people with dementia to live; and to conduct dementia research.

In 2016, HEE commissioned a team from Bournemouth University (BU) to develop and evaluate DEALTS 2. DEALTS 2 is a simulation-based dementia education programme for staff in acute hospitals across England. It is based on an experiential learning approach, placing hospital staff into the shoes of a person with dementia, to facilitate a positive impact on practice. The training is mapped against a selection of core competencies for staff with regular contact with people with dementia (Tier 2) and underpinned by the Humanising Values Framework a philosophical lens originally developed at BU. The team, Dr Michelle Heward, Dr Michele Board, Ashley Spriggs and Prof Jane Murphy, delivered DEALTS 2 as a train-the-trainer model across England in 2017 to 196 trainers from 13 HEE Local Education Boards, and are continuing to evaluate the impact on practice.

The DEALTS 2 programme was showcased as a case study at the Dementia 2020 event in a presentation given by Jan Zietara the Head of Programme Delivery for HEE. Dr Michelle Heward represented the ADRC at the event which provided an opportunity to connect with members of key organisations involved in delivering the Implementation Plan for Dementia 2020, as well as people with dementia, caregivers and individuals interested in dementia care and support more broadly.

The event was co-chaired by George Rook an advocate who himself lives with dementia, and Rachel Thompson the Professional and Practice Lead for Dementia UK. Throughout the event a range of speakers updated the audience on progress including: Jeremy Hughes CBE, Chief Executive, Alzheimer`s Society; David Nuttall, Deputy Director – Dementia Policy, Department of Health; and Dr Charles Alessi Senior Advisor and Lead for Dementia, Public Health England. It has to be said though that Suzy Webster who is a caregiver for her mother who has dementia gave the most heartfelt speech reminding us that policy is necessary but it is now time to see action on the ground to improve care and support for people with dementia – not a dry eye was left in the house!

Discussion on the day focused on celebrating the small steps forward that have been taken, whilst being mindful that there remains some way to go to meet the commitments outlined in the plan by 2020.