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16th UK Dementia Congress

The congress this year will be at Aston University and takes up November 8th and 9th

It is a brave undertaking and we have to be grateful to the people who have rescued the Journal of Dementia Care and now the congress: Richard Hawkins, Sue Benson, Barbara Stephens – and others – have worked miracles to bring together a fabulous programme of speakers and workshops. Everyone is showing faith – looking to rouse spirits and hopes as well as share knowledge and knowhow.

I am attending on the 9th.

Just reading the programme I am curious to learn more about digital storytelling, and a return to dance, the use of theatre and music.

The Sandwell model of comprehensive collaborative care is becoming known as a demonstration of what can be done and how to do it. There will be chance to listen to the team and ask them more.

Rachel Thompson will be sharing her experience of supporting people via video consultations – Techniques which have been forced upon us by covid and the lockdowns have strengths which may stay with us.

Kari-Anne Hoel will be sharing observations from services in Norway, and there are other sessions which give an international perspective.

There are presentations from Academia – especially The University of Worcester. There is guidance on work with people who are deaf and people from minority ethnic communities.

We will listen with extra care to the discussion of the lived experience of people who have received a diagnosis of dementia – particularly in the light of our recent review of concerns about suicide in the early days after diagnosis.

Barbara and I have chance during the lunch hour to discuss the potential of Christians on Ageing and other faith-based organisations in providing information and support for people with dementia and their families.

We are so pleased that Karan Jutlla is presenting the Tom Kitwood Memorial Address – recognition for the work which she and others are doing to promote better care for people with dementia in minority populations. There is learning from this for all of us.

The afternoon goes on to explore life in acute hospital settings, the power of art and the use of colour and fun in making for a better life. More and more on the joy and power of the arts, togetherness, holidays and travel.

Just humbling to know what’s on.

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