Annual Dementia conferences launched, as part of Dementia Education Programme

Mark Wilson speaking

Friends of the Elderly launched the first of its annual Dementia Conferences yesterday. It is part of its flagship Dementia Education Programme aimed to embed person centred dementia care.  It also supports to facilitate a dementia friendly culture across Friends of the Elderly.

Partnered with Worcester University’s highly regarded Association for Dementia Studies (ADS),the programme was launched last year.

The conference was attended by senior leadership team, directors and managers of our care services. It was an opportunity for the charity to celebrate the leading edge work with ADS.

The ADS, led by renowned dementia expert Professor Dawn Brooker, has been implementing a dementia education programme across Friends of the Elderly. The programme was aimed to increase the quality of dementia care provided to residents and service users.

Mark Wilson, Director of Engagement for Friends of the Elderly, said the conference was an opportunity to share the learnings of the last 12 months. He said:

group discussion by participantsWe are now coming to the end of the first year of this three-year programme. Majority of all our service managers have attended the Dementia Leadership course and a minimum of one staff member per service have attended the Dementia Champion Education course.

“The conference included presentations from service managers and their dementia champions. They talked about the projects they have put in place and the benefit they have had on residents, service users, staff and relatives.”

Professor Brooker’s team have been helping Friends of the Elderly embed a VIPS framework,  the gold-standard for person-centred dementia care, across its care homes, community services and central office.

The Values, Individuals, Perspective, and Supportive, or VIPS framework  leads to improved quality of life for people living with dementia. It aims to support a culture of compassion and understanding across an entire organisation.

About Dementia Education programme

Providing suitable, and life-enhancing care for people living with dementia requires joined up working across the whole organisation. Aimed at true cultural shift and embedding person centred dementia care , the programme was implemented across the entire charity. To enhance what was already in practise in this area, Friends of the Elderly  partnered with Professor Dawn Brooker and her team at the Association for Dementia Studies (ADS) at the University of Worcester.

The goal was a simple one: to improve the quality of life for people living with dementia in our homes and services. To achieve this, an organisation-wide dementia educational programme was launched– from trustees through to front-line care staff. Core to that programme was ADS’s highly regarded VIPS framework – the gold-standard for person-centred care.

The first phase of the educational programme involved a four day training exercise with front line managers.  Understanding the anatomy of dementia and how it affects each person differently was the crucial element of this exercise. Once the managers were on board with the VIPS framework, they identified a dementia champion from their own care team. Learnings from the first 12 months of the three year programme was presented at the annual conference.

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