When University of Cumbria mental health student Alison Field took part in an event held to discuss dementia, the experience made such an impression that she was determined to do something to spread the word about a condition that 850,000 people live with.
Now in her second year, the award-winning student has worked alongside senior lecturers Alison Buckley and Louise Corless to stage an ambitious day-long symposium (Tues 23 May) aimed at student nurses, health and social care practitioners and volunteers working in the field of dementia care
The University of Cumbria’s Vice Chancellor Professor Julie Mennell will open the event at the university's Lancaster campus which will include several keynote speakers drawn from a variety of organisations
Dr Penny Foulds, honorary researcher at Lancaster University, will talk about initiatives underway in Lancashire in drug research while Dianne Smith, Matron for Professional Standards in Dementia at the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust will explain how the trust is working locally with agencies in providing support for patients and families and the role of the Bay Dementia Hub.
Other guest speakers include Dr Vineeta Chand from the University of Essex and Andy Tysoe, Dementia Specialist Nurse of the Countess of Chester Hospital.
“The symposium is called ‘A Journey Through Dementia’ to demonstrate to students at the start of their careers as well as care workers already working in the sector, the importance of understanding the impact of dementia following diagnosis and that support and care needs to be multidisciplinary and more inclusive,” senior lecturer Alison Buckley said.
As well as academics, voluntary and private sector organisations will also stage a lunchtime exhibition to share information with delegates in an informal setting.
“While the number of people living with dementia is set to rise, in contrast there will be a reduction in the numbers of people of working age to care for them,” Alison Field said. “That’s why it’s all the more important that events like this are held to share good practice and give our students the best grounding they can have.”
Follow the event on Twitter: #UoCDementia