Action Plan

The Association for Dementia Studies (ADS) at the University of Worcester comprises a multi-professional group of educationalists, researchers and practitioners who are experts in the field of person-centred dementia care and support. People with dementia, their families and their carers inform the work of ADS at all stages. Our aim is to make a substantial contribution to building evidence-based practical ways of working with people living with dementia and their families enabling them to live well. We do this primarily through research, education and scholarship. We are committed to a person-centred approach in all our work. This is our ethical code that values all people as unique individuals, is respectful of the perspective of different standpoints and recognises the interdependence of all of us. We are committed to raising awareness, challenging stigma and improving quality of life and well-being. We work from an international perspective but with a central focus on improving the UK capacity for excellent dementia services. We work in partnership with health and social care providers, commissioners, charities, educational bodies and government agencies.

Commitment 1 - Relating to:

We will promote awareness and understanding of professionals regarding the importance of person-centred care, covering pre-diagnosis through to end of life.

 

How will your organisation achieve Commitment 1?

 

We will continue to deliver education to professionals working in a variety of care settings, including GP surgeries, acute hospitals, care homes, domiciliary care, extra care housing, and the community. Our approach involves the use of experiential learning and action learning sets, to encourage professionals to see dementia from the person’s perspective and put their learning into practice. Findings from our research projects feeds into our education, and the core principle guiding our work is the importance of person-centred care. Our work covers a variety of topics, including peri- and post-diagnostic support, dementia-friendly environments, arts-based interventions, engaging with nature, the use of assistive technology, holistic care at end of life, and the costs of interventions. Consequently, we consider how care can meet people’s needs in multiple innovative ways and continually add to the existing evidence base.

  • We have the right to an early and accurate diagnosis, and to receive evidence based, appropriate, compassionate and properly funded care and treatment, from trained people who understand us and how dementia affects us. This must meet our needs, wherever we live.

Commitment 2 - Relating to:

We will empower professionals to involve people with dementia and their carers/family members in decision making regarding their care provision, and to feel able to initiate sensitive conversations around advance care planning and end of life.

 

How will your organisation achieve Commitment 2?

 

We will continue to deliver a range of bespoke education programmes for professionals working across all care settings, as well as Masterclasses and Workshops covering topics such as dementia friendly design, sexuality and intimacy with dementia, frailty, dementia and pain, MCA and truth telling, end of life, person centred care, and music and dementia. We also offer university modules at level 7 (masters). The voices of experts by experience - people living with dementia and their supporters –are used within our education courses to enhance the understanding of the course participants. To ensure that they can be involved in courses that are further afield or when they are not available in person, a series of short video clips has been filmed featuring them talking about their own experiences. Feedback on these films indicates that they are very powerful and have a big impact on the course participants.

  • We have the right to be respected, and recognised as partners in care, provided with education, support, services, and training which enables us to plan and make decisions about the future.

Commitment 3 - Relating to:

People with dementia and their carers inform our work at all stages, and we will continue to ensure that we involve people in our research wherever possible.

 

How will your organisation achieve Commitment 3?

 

We will expand our current group of experts by experience to form a wider network with links to local support groups and organisations. Through this network, we will be able to inform people living with dementia and their carers about current or forthcoming research projects, with the aim of involving them where appropriate. This could be through providing feedback or input to research bids to ensure they incorporate their perspective, being part of a project Reference Group or Steering Group – such as our current Namaste Care Project and previous Meeting Centres Project – or being a research participant. More generally, people with dementia and carers are regularly involved as research participants in projects and evaluations such as the Green Dementia Care project, Dementia Dwelling Grants and Dementia Adventure In A Box. We also promote opportunities to be involved in research through signposting health and care professionals, people with dementia, their carers, members of the public to the Join Dementia Research (JDR) website.

  • We have the right to know about and decide if we want to be involved in research that looks at cause, cure and care for dementia and be supported to take part.