Manchester Met marks Dementia Awareness Week 2016

EARLIER this month, students and staff were able to attend numerous events held at Brooks Building throughout Dementia Awareness Week.

The aim of Dementia Awareness Week 2016 was to encourage anyone who is worried about Dementia to confront their concerns and seek help. Therefore, a number of events were planned over the week to encourage this aim.

The week opened up with workshops on Dignity in Care. Janet Robson Matron for Dignity at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust delivered the Daisy Accreditation sessions that had previously won a Nursing Times Dignity Award. Over 30 students and staff attended these workshops and found them to be helpful on how nursing staff could promote Dignity in their care delivery.

Other activities included daily Dementia Friends sessions at Brooks Building, some of which were attended by students from Art & Design, Architecture, Speech and Language, Social Care and Physiotherapy to name but a few, as well as staff from a whole range of disciplines across the University. We even had the President of the Student Union, Jordan Stephen in attendance.

Assistive tech

In terms of Dementia Research, Professor Josie Tetley and Dr Emma-Reetta Koivunen, from the Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care, who have been working with KMS Solutions Ltd, discussed their work on Mobile and Wearable Technology and Social Isolation, colloquially known as Dementia wristbands. Additionally, Dr Rachel Stockley who, in conjunction with Lucid Innovation, highlighted her work on Haptic Bracelets for Stroke Rehabilitation. Dr Sarah McNichol a researcher from the Faculty of Education ran two sessions on her innovative work on the use of Comics in Dementia Care.

One of our feature events was the Manchester Met Dementia Awareness Café where service users and carers were invited to share their experiences of living with Dementia with students and staff over Afternoon Tea. Students from various nursing cohorts received talks by the following organisations: Jane Rennie from Alzheimer’s UK Manchester, who provided tips on how to best communicate with people living well with Dementia; Mark Parry from Pennine Care NHS Trust and representing EDUCATE,  came along with a group of people who live with Dementia in Stockport, as well as Emma & Joy from Salford INSPIRE, each organisation provided their own perspectives to the students on the realities of living in the wider community on a daily level with Dementia.

Additionally, Brenda Pimlott, a research nurse from Pennine Care NHS Trust, closed the event with a discussion raising the profile of Research Awareness Week and the OK to ASK Research Campaign. The event was further supported with musical entertainment from Velody singing songs from yesteryear. Overall, this was a successful event, which was anecdotally positively evaluated and we hope to host other events in the future.

More to come 

There will be more Dementia Friends sessions running through MMU ENGAGE WEEK in July. From next academic year, there will be monthly sessions that can be booked by staff through MyHR.

Plans are already afoot for Dementia Awareness Week 2017, if you know of any projects that will be coming to fruition in Spring next year and you would like to present them to staff and students, then please feel free to contact Anne-Marie Borneuf at a.m.borneuf@mmu.ac.uk.

Additionally, if you are interested in becoming a Dementia Friend OR wish to add a Dementia Friends session to your Team meeting, go to www.mmu.ac.uk/dementia for more information.