As the UK marks Dementia Awareness Week, the Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) at the University of Stirling goes from strength to strength in its 25th anniversary year.
Central to the milestone celebration is “The Dementia Festival of Ideas”, running throughout 2015, and which includes an international conference and “The Big Ask” - the biggest-ever survey of what people think about dementia.
DSDC Director Professor June Andrews highlights the international centre’s vital work to improve the lives of people with dementia.
Professor Andrews said: “Our work over the past two-and-a-half decades has made a positive difference to the lives of thousands of people with dementia, their carers and staff who work for them across the world.
“Since it was founded at the University of Stirling, the DSDC has, with the support of the Dementia Services Development Trust, improved the confidence and skills of those caring for people with dementia.
“We’ve done this at every level from influencing policy, to providing face-to-face support to families and people with dementia.
“All we do is based on research evidence, and what people with dementia say they need, from across the world. We convert that knowledge into teaching and information that is practical and makes a difference.”
Key DSDC successes include:
recognition and usage world-wide of the “Stirling Standard” for dementia- friendly design
65,000 copies sold of the essential text book for carers “10 Helpful Hints”, which has been translated into Mandarin and Spanish
training consistently award winning for quality and relevance; staff recognised nationally for their professional skills
website recognised as an open source of evidence-based information, including a virtual dementia friendly hospital and care home
Professor Andrews said: “In our 25th year, we are not resting on our laurels. Key challenges and issues remain, including delays in diagnosis, difficulties for families in getting information, and problems for staff in accessing relevant low cost training. Helping other countries to recognise the voice of people with dementia is vital.”
In response to demand, the DSDC has recently expanded its Best Practice in Dementia Care course to include emergency staff, in addition to care home and wider hospital staff, plus those providing home care.
The year-long Dementia Festival of Ideas is a broad-ranging and creative exploration of what dementia means to us all. Flagship events include an International Dementia Conference in Birmingham this autumn.
Hosted in partnership with the Care Show, the largest health and social care exhibition in the UK, it will focus on key issues around care, innovation and good practice.
Media enquiries to: Esther Hutcheson, Communications Officer on 01786 466640 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or directly to DSDC Director Professor June Andrews on 01786 467 740 / 07906 696341 or email@example.com
The DSDC, based in the Iris Murdoch Building at the University of Stirling, is guided by an International Advisory Board and is self- funded, largely from charitable sources. www.dementia.stir.ac.uk
The International Dementia Conference on 3-4 November will bring together health and social care delegates, as well as those with dementia and their carers. Conference papers can be submitted until 30 July.