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Association for Dementia Studies to Celebrate Fifth Anniversary

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The University of Worcester’s influential Association for Dementia Studies (ADS) will mark its fifth anniversary by hosting a celebration at the University of Worcester Arena next week.

The ADS, a multi-professional group of educationalists, researchers and practitioners specialising in the advancement of person-centred care and support, was built on a strong foundation partnership between the University, NHS Worcestershire, Worcestershire County Council and Dementia UK.

Since its launch in 2009, under the leadership of Professor Dawn Brooker (pictured), the Association has developed into a recognised centre of excellence in the education, training and research into dementia studies.

Professor Brooker explains: “From a standing start in 2009, the ADS team now consists of 30 staff working to make a substantial contribution to building evidence-based, practical ways to enable people living with dementia - and their families - to live well.

“The list of achievements at a local, regional and national level is impressive and is down to the hard work and support of many people over the past five years.”

Locally, the ADS has worked closely with the Worcester Health and Care NHS Trust to develop the award winning Early Intervention Dementia Service; and with the Worcestershire County Council to provide specialist education and training for professionals and care staff working in care homes, hospitals and in peoples’ own homes.

These cutting edge education programmes have now been delivered to over 1000 professionals and care staff nationally.

Also on a national level, the ADS has completed a number of research projects that have enhanced our understanding of the quality of care in care homes and housing for some of the most vulnerable citizens in the country.

The Association has also worked as part of the Prime Minister’s Challenge to make our whole society more dementia friendly – most notably by our evaluation of the dementia for schools programme ensuring that the citizens of tomorrow understand dementia and its impact without fear and stigma.

Internationally, the ADS has just completed work on the ALCOVE programme, in which the team was responsible for developing public health guidance on timely diagnosis of dementia. They have now commenced a second EU research project to pilot ways of supporting people and their families at home. This was developed in the Netherlands and will be piloted in Worcestershire alongside other pilot programmes in Italy and Poland.

From September of this year, the University will offer the opportunity to study a new Foundation Degree in Dementia Studies. This will enable students to enhance their skills, knowledge and value base, their professional development and employability in this area.

Next week’s celebration will be held to both mark past achievements and look to future developments, with the Association also using the event to launch the University of Worcester Dementia Friendly University initiative and the Hennell Award for Innovation; to be awarded to a student who has made a significant contribution to dementia care.

There will be a number of speakers on the day including a filmed contribution from journalist and broadcaster Angela Rippon, with whom ADS worked as part of the Prime Minister’s Challenge on dementia. Eddie Clarke, who was previously Director of Adult Social Care for Worcestershire Local Authority - and helped to establish ADS - will be made a Fellow of the Institute of Health & Society.