Tagged / dementia

Making a Difference with Music

I have to admit I was not having the best of weeks but being part of the BUDI Orchestra’s penultimate rehearsal yesterday was, as one of the participants said to me at the end the session, ‘better than therapy’. 

Some of the highlights for me of this week’s session were a couple celebrating their 59th wedding anniversary by bringing chocolates and biscuits to share with their orchestra friends and telling me this session was the ideal way to celebrate this pretty remarkable period of marriage; another couple who had told me they have been having difficulties communicating reaching out simultaneously for one another’s hands when Moon River was playing; and having people with dementia and their carers tell me that attending this group is the highlight of their week, indeed that they need no persuasion to get out of bed knowing they have their music group to come along to; and to hear that they consider the members of the group their friends. This all demonstrates the true achievement of the BSO musicians, BU students and my team members in rising to the deceptively simple challenge I set for this project: to create an atmosphere that was welcoming, fun, promoted equality between everyone, and where having dementia was not to be the guiding factor, rather for everyone to be part of a ‘normal’ group where people would learn and work together. And they have achieved this in spades!

Seeing for myself the progress and development in those with dementia who have participated over a 9 week period makes this project worthwhile. For example a man, who on week one who was having trouble remembering how to play his double bass (even though he didn’t need much encouragement to teach me some basic notes), now jamming with the professional musicians; how another man, who brought his mouth organ to the first session and began to recall how to play, now plays all the pieces by ear and is smiling from ear to ear after the session ends. Seeing the relaxation and concentration on participants’ faces who had been anxious about first week, but who are completely in the moment and whose verbal communication skills have, to me, taken an absolute upturn, and who now chat easily and at length during the break and at the session end. For example, one participant invited me to their previous home if I was ever passing, it doesn’t matter that they live in Dorset now and were talking about their old address, the important thing is they have increased their sense of social confidence and are reaching out and connecting with others, something that is, all too often, sadly lost by others failing to accommodate the communication needs of those with dementia.

 Have a look yourself at one of the items that will be performed by the BSO and BUDI Orchestra at the Winton life centre on Saturday 14 June, 11am, as part of the BU Festival of Learning programme. I’ve already shown this  to whomever I met yesterday afternoon, and the surprise on colleagues’ faces when they understood that this was a group of people with dementia who had only been rehearsing for 9 weeks and the majority of whom had never played an instrument before was fun to see! Moving from playing, to singing to body percussion in one piece is challenging and demonstrates the development in learning the musicians have enabled over the sessions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oscti3517ww

 To me, this project is a way to challenge the misconceptions and myths people hold about people with dementia not being able to learn and participate to a high level. I wish I could bottle the benefits that I observed in our participants, and, actually, the benefits that I have gained from being a small part of a truly special group that has created an amazing sense of community with acceptance, fun and friendship at its core.

 The group are already feeling the loss of these sessions as they know they only have one more rehearsal and then the performance and then our FIF funding stops. Yet this is what I would say is true impact: yes, we have the papers and other academic impact values, and we will seek to publish after the sessions end and the follow up period data is collected, but to see the development in how the professional musicians work with those with dementia, most who in the main had not worked with people with dementia before and their absolute engagement and commitment to creating a positive experience for the group; to see how our students have grown in confidence, and the relationships they have built with individuals with dementia is fantastic and demonstrates the impact of learning together. But most of all, to hear about, and see first-hand, the pleasure and benefits for those living with dementia and their carers makes this the best project I’ve ever had the pleasure of being part of, and if anyone has ideas about finding ways to fund this project beyond its research parameters as an on-going community engagement project, please do let me know!

MoMA lead the way – what does this mean for the UK?

BUDI were delighted to welcome colleagues from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York to Bournemouth University from 20-23rd May 2014, thanks to Fusion Investment Fund Mobility Strand Funding. Our local partnership working was put into practice to host international workshop leaders attended by participants near and far. MoMA’s specially trained Museum Educators ran two workshops in which they shared their successful model and established approach for making their services dementia-friendly (validated via evaluation from New York University). These workshops showcased their innovative style of education delivery, and provided attendees with an opportunity to hear the success of their approach and view a practical demonstration in a gallery or museum space.

 On 21st May 2014, 15 members of BU Staff and PhD Students took part in a free workshop at Talbot Campus and in the Atrium Art Gallery. This was followed on the 22nd May 2014 with a second workshop at Poole Museum which was attended by 40 participants currently working in museums, art galleries and the wider heritage sector, from as near as Poole and as far as Paris. During this workshop participants learnt how they could implement these approaches within their individual organisations. Participant’s fed back how useful they found the workshop:

  • It was a really good insight into what it’s like to provide for people with dementia. It was great to spend time looking at the paintings in the museum in a new way.
  • I will adopt my art gallery sessions to follow many of MoMA’s techniques.
  • I found the workshop both enjoyable and constructive and hope BUDI will run others on related topics.
  • Very well facilitated, clear well structured presentations. Very useful for my professional work.

We look forward to seeing how the participant’s learning translates into their future practice, and the wider impact of this approach within museums, art galleries and the heritage sector in the UK. We would also like to thank Poole Museum for kindly providing the venue and refreshments for the second workshop.

Michelle Heward

Free places available for BU staff – BUDI workshop hosted by Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) 21st May 2014

Thanks to FIF Mobility Strand Funding, Bournemouth University Dementia Institute (BUDI) are delighted to be welcoming colleagues from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York to Bournemouth University from 20-23rd May 2014. As part of their visit, BU Staff are being invited to join a free workshop. In this workshop MoMA’s specially trained Museum Educators will share their successful model and established approach for making their services dementia-friendly (validated via evaluation from New York University). 

This workshop showcases MoMA’s innovative style of education delivery, providing attendees with an opportunity to hear the success of their approach and a practical demonstration in the Atrium Gallery. Staff with an interest in alternative teaching methods and those working with vulnerable groups may be particularly interested in attending. Please also pass on this information to any PhD students you feel may benefit from attending.

Date: 21st May 2014

Time: 11:00 – 15:30

Venue: Talbot Campus

There are a limited number of places available on this workshop for BU staff. To book a place, or for more information, please email mheward@bournemouth.ac.uk or call 01202 962538.

BUDI Open Public Meeting – 14 May 2014


This is a reminder that the BUDI Open Public meeting is tomorrow (14 May) there are still a few spaces available. 

This year’s event focuses on dementia friendly environments, how design helps to support people living with dementia.  The hospital environments and the philosphy of dementia friendly environments will  be covered by external speakers.

To book your free place please go to eventbrite http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/budi-open-meeting-dementia-friendly-care-environments-tickets-9876528964

 

Puerto Rico welcomes a new BUDI


Every year the prestigious Alzheimer’s Disease International conference welcomes practitioners, academics, people living with dementia, medical professionals and clinicians from all over the world to share their latest knowledge, experience and research about dementia careThis year I was lucky enough to attend and represent BUDI at the 29th International Conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International Dementia: Working Together for a Global Solution, hosted in San Juan on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico.

Three abstracts were accepted to be orally presented, so this was a great opportunity to showcase some of BUDI’s innovative research projects to world leading dementia specialists. The three presented projects were the Technology Club (Dementia Care and Technology), Tales of the Sea (Empowering people with dementia) and (Dont) Mention Dementia (Voices of people with dementia and their families).

All three presentations were well received and stimulated discussion and many questions. The feedback I received after my presentations and during the conference was that BUDI’s projects were seen as innovative, creative and great examples of how to engage people with dementia in research and how people with dementia should be at the core of all research.

Above and beyond presenting, I had the opportunity to catch up with Peter, an Australian colleague (who I have been working on the international GRIID research project with for around two years and have never met!) Peter presented the GRIID project (Gateway to Rural International Initiatives in Dementia) at this conference. After his presentation we were able to meet and come up with some really innovative ideas to take the GRIID project to the next level.

To top off a very successful conference, I won a huge kangaroo courtesy of the Australian Alzheimer’s Association. He was unfortunately a bit too big to fit into my case so he to travelled home with another colleague…I wonder if I will ever get him back as he was very cute!

Since returning home I have started to get in touch with some of the many contacts I made at this conference and look forward to potential international collaborations. This conference highlights all the good work currently being undertaken but also emphasises the amount of work we still need to do. I invite you to check out the below clip of Richard Taylor PhD, who presented numerous times at the conference. Richard is extremely funny and has a great approach and attitude to life. It is very thought provoking as he shares his thoughts about living with dementia. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHQfc3KJ9qE.

Clare Cutler, BUDI Project Manager

Progress with making music

This week I went along to the half way point in the rehearsals for the BUDI orchestra and as promised from my first post about this work here is a link to short video clip

(this was rather difficult as I managed to record my clips upside down on my iphone (how is that possible??), as well as create huge file sizes from 30 second clips, but thanks to David Stone in M&C we now have something postable that hopefully gives a bit of a flavour of the sessions- despite my very amateur recording skills! but do come to their performance on 14 June at the Winton Life Centre as part of the BU FOL!)

My observations of the process this time centre around three things – first, the strong sense of a social group that has been created/formed by all involved, from the friendly welcomes, the catch ups over coffee and the general encouragement the group offered each other during the session. Second, I was also pleasantly surprised that carers sought me out to thank us for putting this group together and to share the positive impact they had observed themselves during the sessions on their relatives with dementia, but also how friends and family at home had also remarked on a positive visible difference in their relatives. 5 sessions and observed differences – is this the power of music? I was also struck by the questions asked of me about ‘would the group continue’ and as with any short ‘intervention’ type study feel the weight of not being able to promise to deliver again on something that is being hugely enjoyed by participants (and which we all hope will evaluate positively in a research sense – but only time will tell…). I guess this lack of being able to promise to continue with a service is kind of like service providers with limited budgets and short term initiatives… Hopefully we will secure funding to enable this work to continue, as even the community musician from the BSO with huge experience of outreach work feels this is a ‘very special’ project with amazing and fast results that everyone involved is observing.  From week 1 where participants were nervous about trying out the instruments to now being very comfortable with playing around with (lots of experimentation in terms of how to hold a violin in a comfy position) and actually playing the notes. I was also struck by carers telling me of their attempts to ‘practice’ at home – downloading or recording the pieces they have been introduced to during the sessions and singing, humming and dancing along at home – as unfortunately the violins cannot go home with the participants – and how enjoyable they are finding the sessions beyond coming along to the rehearsals themselves. My final observation is also the growth in confidence of the musicians, our students as well as those with dementia and their carers in how they relate to one another, how they try out new pieces and are no longer as hesitant to experiment as they were in the first session. The combination of body percussion, instrument playing and singing that the musicians have created by paying close attention to how everyone responds has led to a session format that is uplifting, fun, creative while also creating intense concentration amongst all participants as they learn and work together. I wish I could find time in my diary to attend all the sessions as they leave me feeling upbeat and positive; something that was clearly evident not only from what I observed but from what I was told by everyone in the session yesterday.

Free places for BU staff at Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) workshop 21st May 2014

Thanks to FIF Mobility Strand Funding, Bournemouth University Dementia Institute (BUDI) are delighted to be welcoming colleagues from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York to Bournemouth University from 20-23rd May 2014. As part of their visit, BU Staff are being invited to join a free workshop. In this workshop MoMA’s specially trained Museum Educators will share their successful model and established approach for making their services dementia-friendly (validated via evaluation from New York University).

This workshop showcases MoMA’s innovative style of education delivery, providing attendees with an opportunity to hear the success of their approach and a practical demonstration in the Atrium Gallery. Staff with an interest in alternative teaching methods and those working with vulnerable groups may be particularly interested in attending. Please also pass on this information to any PhD students you feel may benefit from attending.

Date: 21st May 2014
Time: 11:00 – 15:30
Venue: Talbot Campus

There are a limited number of places available on this workshop for BU staff. To book a place, or for more information, please email mheward@bournemouth.ac.uk or call 01202 962538.

Please be aware that spaces for this workshop are limited, and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

BUDI – Hot in Malta

In October, five members of the BUDI team attended the annual Alzheimer’s Europe International Conference 2013, hosted on the very beautiful (and very hot) Island of Malta. This annual conference attracts practitioners, academics, carers, people with dementia, medical professionals and clinicians from all over the world.

This year Bournemouth University was represented by the BUDI team who were accepted to present four oral presentations (Ben Hicks, Clare Cutler, Anthea Innes and Derek Eland) and one poster presentation (Clare Cutler) showcasing some of BUDI’s innovative projects (Technology Club, Tales of the Sea, Malta Hospital Care, (Don’t) mention Dementia and War and dementia).

In addition to the presentations, BUDI was also invited to exhibit the (Don’t) Mention Dementia project in the main foyer of the conference suite. The exhibition attracted many people who filmed and photographed the exhibition.  Some people were physically touched by the stories and enquired about how this method could be replicated in other countries to give people with dementia a voice.

On the last day of the conference our very own Anthea Innes was invited to provide the closing conference key note speech. Anthea’s presentation touched on many of the challenges faced by people living with dementia and stressed that there is still much important work to do to make our societies dementia friendly to enable those living with dementia to live well with dementia. Whilst the presentation focused on the hard times ahead, it was concluded with a wonderful feel good message (provided by the voices of High School musical) that ‘we are all in this together’! This got a lot of laughs and was a great way to end the conference.

 

Above and beyond presenting we were given the opportunity to network with world leading dementia specialists at the annual INTERDEM evening meal and the Alzheimer’s Gala dinner (which had a very good band although you couldn’t really understand what the singer was saying, but never the less, you could hum along to the tune). The Gala dinner was preceded with a special visit to the Maltase Presidents summer palace, where the delegates were taken around sections of the very old and very beautiful house and gardens.  

After much hard work presenting, networking, and profiling BUDI and BU, we ended the conference with an evening relaxing on the beach and a bit of a boogie in a local bar!

 

Since being home we have started following up contacts made at the conference and look forward to some potential collaborations.

 

Clare Cutler, BUDI Project Manager

What can a University community contribute to a Dementia Friendly Society? Being a friend is a start!

In what proved to be a very busy few months of engaging with the public to try and raise awareness of dementia, BUDI held its first Dementia Friends Training session in September. People with dementia sometimes need a helping hand to go about their daily lives and feel included in their local community. The Prime Ministers Challenge and the Alzheimer Society national initiative – Dementia Friends – is giving the general public an understanding of dementia and the small things they can do that can make a difference to people living with dementia – from raising dementia awareness in customer-facing staff to spreading the word about dementia. http://www.dementiafriends.org.uk/

20 BU staff and students responded to the invitation to take part and the training was delivered by one of BUDIs research collaborators Ian Sherriff at Plymouth University, who is also a Trustee of the Alzheimer Society, and a member of one of the Prime Minister’s national Dementia Working Groups. Friends’ information sessions are run by Dementia Friends Champions, who are volunteers who have taken the Dementia Friends Champions’ training. The Friends’ information session lasted around one hour and we learnt more about dementia and how we can help to create dementia friendly communities in our working environment and in our local community. The session was good fun and made everyone realise how they can contribute to making the lives of those living with dementia easier.

Professor Anthea Innes and BUDI PhD student Ben Hicks were so inspired by the friends training they have agreed to become Dementia Champions to help train more BU staff and students to become dementia friends. The one-hour training session is free and will be offered at different points in the year to any BU staff or students who want to become a Dementia Friend. If you are interested in becoming a dementia friend and want to make a positive difference to people living with dementia in your community please contact Michelle O’Brien to book your place (Email: mobrien@bournemouth.ac.uk Telephone: 01202 962771)

Find out more about the Ageing, Society and Dementia research theme

The 2013/14 academic year sees the launch of a new BU research theme, Ageing, Society and Dementia.  This new theme brings together the ageing component of the previous Health, Well-Being and Ageing theme with the body of work that has been emerging from the Bournemouth University Dementia Institute. This new theme is not just a result of internal activity and interest in the subject but reflects the external policy drive, nationally and internationally, to respond appropriately to the ever increasing numbers of people who will be affected by dementia worldwide. Thus, this new theme is a direct response to one of society’s big challenges – an ageing demographic and a shrinking pool of family members and paid workers who will be available to support this population.

To give a very brief overview of the considerable activity in the 2012/13 academic year in the area of dementia is challenging, mainly as the cross-school and inter-disciplinary Bournemouth University Dementia Institute (BUDI) team  have secured 25 externally funded projects since its launch in May 2012, as well as several internal awards for projects via BUs Fusion Investment Fund and 6 dementia PhD studentships. All BUDI’s work  falls under five sub-themes of Service Improvement; Dementia Friendly Environments; Dementia Friendly Leisure; Education and Leadership; and Public Awareness and Knowledge Translation. One of the key areas of public awareness raising activity was featured at the Festival of Learning via an art exhibition collating 600 stories from people with dementia and the general public about their experiences and perspectives on dementia.  We were lucky enough to secure the support for this event from one of the Alzheimer Societies ambassadors, Angela Rippon.

Improving public awareness about dementia is a challenge, and at BU our unique team, many of whom have approached the study of dementia for the first time in the last few months and who bring alternative ideas and approaches to the table, is key to our future success. We are working in partnership with EU colleagues via ERASMUS MUNDUS funding to develop a new Masters programme ‘Innovations in Dementia’; we have multiple ongoing projects to see through to a successful completion, and many planned events and several new doctoral students and researchers joining the team in the next few months. However our key challenge for the next academic year is to secure high quality research grants and other income streams to ensure we continue our fused approach of education, research and knowledge exchange/practice development to enable this theme to flourish from its successful but very small beginnings.

Prof Anthea Innes

School of Health and Social Care

 

Sign up to the Ageing, Society and Dementia BU Research Theme here:

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Your School / Professional Service (required)

Staff or PGR student? (required)
StaffPGR

Please select the themes that you are interested in (required)

Want a challenge? short term secondment opportunity @ the Bournemouth University Dementia Institute

The BU Dementia Institute is growing fast with staff or students involved in various ways from all BU schools. We have a short term secondment opportunity (3 months) to work with us as Project manager to help develop our profile, income streams and to work on selected existing projects. Interested? Take a look at http://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/jobs/hsc184.html and drop me an email if you would like to discuss ainnes@bournemouth.ac.uk

Register Online to attend Bournemouth University Dementia Institute Internal Conference

BUDI continues to work towards a truly collaborative approach to dementia and with this in mind our first internal conference will take place on the 31st January.  The theme of this conference is creative collaboration.  We are keen to explore new innovative approaches to all aspects of living with dementia and caring for people with dementia.  If you have an idea or a piece of work that you think could work well or has a potential link with dementia, then this is the opportunity to showcase your idea.  Abstracts are invited for posters and presentations and should be submitted by Friday 16th November at 12noon.

Abstracts should be no longer than 250words and the details can be found on the staff development page.

Presentations will be 10mins duration with five minutes allowed for questions.

Posters should be of A0 portrait size and an award will be given for the best poster on the day.

More to follow shortly.

Patricia Mc Parland

Project Manager BUDI

Prof. Anthea Innes Inaugural Lecture

Anthea’s inaugural, to be held on 14th November, entitled “Dementia: personal journey to policy priority” is currently fully booked.  If you would like to be added to the waiting list please send an email to Michelle O’Brien at mobrien@bournemouth.ac.uk

BUDI are also holding a BU internal conference entitled “Creative collaboration” on 31st January and would welcome your attendance (please see BUDI website http://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/dementia-institute/ for further details or contact Patricia McParland, BUDI Project Manager on pmcparland@bournemouth.ac.uk.)

Value of conference attendance?

October is the month of the annual Alzheimer Europe (www.alzheimer-europe.org) meeting. This year three BUDI team members attended the rather nice setting in Vienna a draw for everyone, although we all had very different agendas and expectations. Alzheimer Europe is one of my personal favourite conferences as I’ve been going for years and it creates the opportunity to meet with new and catch up with a range of international colleagues, and is actually the main reason I go to these kind of events; yes it is good to present the work, and as a team we had two posters and three oral presentations this year, which is not bad for an Institute only in existence for 6 months, but it is the networking aspect that provides inspiration and creates new ideas and new collaborations that motivates me to go to these kind of events.

Patricia McParland is BUDI’s project manager, she has presented at a few dementia conferences in the last 3 years but for this conference her main concern was to ensure her cutting edge work doctoral work, that she is in the final throes of writing up, on public awareness of dementia is getting out there as this is an area of increasing policy concern both in the UK and internationally and many are starting to work in this particular area. As well as presenting a poster on her doctoral work that received positive attention, she presented a paper reporting on one of BUDI’s project about Dementia Friendly Tourism. The concept of Dementia Friendly Tourism has caught the imagination of many we speak to about our dementia work and this proved to be the case again in Vienna. Colleagues from France, Spain and Jersey were particularly interested in this project and keen to explore how these ideas could be applied to their regions; we will see what transpires over the coming months in the way of collaboration but this is a nice example of the added value of going to a conference.

Clare Cutler is a research assistant in BUDI and has just started her PhD exploring experiences of war and dementia, as an Early Career Researcher Clare was thrilled to be attending her first interational conference, and her excitement was contagious! but she was also rather anxious about giving her first presentation on one of BUDI’s projects, GRIID, Gateway to Rural International Innovations in Dementia, on behalf of an international team. She needn’t have worried as she went down a storm; mainly because she said at the beginning that she was nervous, this was her first presentation and then let out a big sigh as she finished. This created a huge amount of goodwill to her personally as well as her giving a presentation on an innovative interational partnership project. We had received the support of Alzheimer Disease International (www.alz.co.uk) to conduct part of this study and the opportunity for further discussion about working together to target rural areas and developing countries is another of the added value benefits that being in Vienna brought for me this year.

I presented a paper on a recently completed evaluation of a telehealth project to diagnose and follow up people with dementia living on the Shetland Isles and Grampian, rural areas of Scotland. The added value of this work relates to the INTERDEM (www.interdem.org) meeting that was held the day before the conference. (This is another example of added value by the way, going to other meetings around a conference.) Interdem is an application/invite only pan European network of highly active psychosocial researchers in the dementia field; as a member I was also able to take my BUDI colleagues in their student roles, a new doctoral and just about to complete doctoral student, to this full day meeting and they found this an amazing experience as many of the ‘names’ of long established dementia academics are part of this group which is always a buzz to meet people you’ve quoted for the first time, who offered real warmth, enthusiasm and support for their work. The Interdem meeting this time round was a mix of presentations (including one from the task force on technology and dementia that I co-lead)  and working groups developing bid ideas, collaborative papers and general brain storming about how to take forward new work in the field. The technology task force has been working on a bid around exergaming and dementia and we used the lunchtime slot to meet to work up our ideas further  (more added value) as well as updating Interdem members about our progress with this bid during the meeting itself. But we also discussed new bid ideas and telehealth, the focus of my Alzheimer Europe paper, was one of the favoured topics; one of our jobs now is to see the details of a long-awaited funding call  (JPND) due out December 2012 and get writing another EU bid.  We also agreed to write a collaborative paper on technology and dementia, but a successful meeting is one that generates new work from my point of view!

My other bit of dissemination work was a poster about ongoing research evaluating dementia care in Maltese hopsital wards. The added value about this relates to the conference venue being in Malta next year and I am sure this has partly influenced the invitation, of the Maltese Dementia Society member who is a long standing collaborator of mine as well as being the local organisor for the 2013 meeting, for me to give a plenary there next year!

So in all, the value of going to conferences for new researchers, is undoubtedly to present their work, to meet esteemed colleagues and the resultant ‘buzz’ this brings, to learn about other research in the field and to start their own networks (a good example of this is Patricia joining a writing team for a methods related paper, more added value!). For me it is a chance to catch up with people and to discuss potential new collaborations. In previous years it has also been about keeping a profile of the work of my team, this year it was about starting to create a profile for a new BU team to an international audience. I am pleased to report that all boxes were ticked this time round!