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Parallel Session - Education and training

Abstracts and presentations

“Caring for People Living Away from Home”: collaborative working between NHS mental health services & social care

Mary Aldridge, Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom,
Co-author: Lisa Breame

The Alzheimer's Society calls for mandatory training for all care staff, Neil Hunt, Chief Executive suggests that at present the majority of staff do not have adequate training, commenting that "dementia training ensures care staff understand the reality of the condition as well as the positive impact they can have on people living with a diagnosis and their carers".

The recently published CSCI report 'See me, not just the dementia' (June 2008) states: "All the top-performing homes had consistently invested time and resources in dementia awareness and person-centred care training."'Caring for People Living Away from Home' is a joint project which celebrates close relationships between trainers within Norfolk & Waveney Mental Health Foundation NHS Trust (NWMHFT) & the Care Home Service of Norfolk County Council (NCC). The programme began late summer of 2007 and commenced its second phase in July 2008.

Colleagues within NWMHFT Older People's Services willingly shared their experiences of designing and delivering the most effective learning pathways for their own dementia services, using Dementia Care Mapping (DCM) as the cornerstone. Together the organisations devised a programme of learning, sharing best & expert practice for social care staff delivered by NWMHP trainerS

The project aims to respond to an increase in service provision for people with dementia within Norfolk County's residential homes combined with a true commitment to investment in the practice development of their care home staff.The training packages are firmly based upon careful analysis and evaluation by NWMHP of their own practice development journey over the past decade and in brief offers:

  • Continual cycles of person centred dementia care workshops for all care staff
  • Learning To Use DCM courses
  • Secondment of an 'advanced' Dementia Care Mapper
  • Regular DCM Practice Forums
  • Focused training and support with individual care homes
  • Developing Dementia Care Practice workshops
  • DCM-Briefing & Feedback workshops

This project will establish foundations for practice for care teams of the future alongside a strong continued relationship with NWMHFT.

A method for improving professional knowledge in the community health services

Arnfinn Eek, Ageing and Health – Norwegian Centre for Research, Education and Service development, Norway,
Co-authors: Vigdis Drivdal Berentsen, Arild Nilsen, Betty Døble

Background: In the community care of people with dementia, a substantial increase in the level of professional competence is required but not readily achieved. We want to contribute to improving professional knowledge by developing a new model for education within dementia care.

Method: We designed a new education programme for small study groups within nursing homes and community health services in Norway. The Norwegian Directorate of Health supports the funding and organisation of the project. A similar strategy for education in general geriatric nursing, “Eldreomsorgens ABC” (ABC of the care for the elderly), has been used by thousands of participants and is considered a good model. The new educational material, “Demensomsorgens ABC” (ABC of care for people with dementia), is based on the same concept. It consists of two booklet holders with 23 illustrated and easy-to-read thematic booklets altogether. They also contain a lot of practical examples and questions to be discussed in the groups. Each study group consists of members of several professions from different parts of the municipality’s health care system. Groups usually meet every three weeks, starting with a one-day seminar for motivation. Additional seminars are held twice a year until completion of the education. The groups themselves establish their rules, structure and leadership. Each participant is asked to fill in an anonymous assessment form for job satisfaction at start and completion of the education, respectively, to be used as an indicator of professional quality. After completing the study, participants and group leaders are also asked to assess the effect of the education programme.

Preliminary results: The first municipalities started using the programme in May 2008. By December 2008, a considerable number of municipalities with 2250 professional caregivers altogether are participating. Preliminary assessment indicates a high level of satisfaction by learning as well as favourable experiences with the model of education, which is suitable for those at work outside ordinary working hours. The heads of departments report a raised level of reflection. The final results will be presented in about four years.

CARERS: Education and training for informal carers

Germain Weber, University of Vienna, Austria,
Co-author: Paul Fenton

The presentation outlines the work being done in the project “Content mAterials to Raise Employability and Reinforce Skills of carers (CARERS)”, part of the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union, which runs from 1 November 2007 to 31 October 2009. The overall objective of this international project (Spain, Lithuania, Austria, Poland, Luxembourg, and France) is to offer an education and training programme specifically aimed at informal carers, providing answers to meet their real needs in their support work as well as for their own emotional well-being. This multidisciplinary work is producing six innovative training modules (total 60 hours), for both on- line and face-to-face delivery, for informal carers and professionals, many of whom are in the position of caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease. The presentation will highlight the training Module entitled “Being a Carer for the Elderly with Intellectual Disabilities”: Definitions of Intellectual Disability, Basic Information on Intellectual Disability, Prevalence, Life expectancy, Old Age Ris ks, Physical Domain, Psychological and Behavioural and Social Domain, Abuse, Grief, Remedies, Role of the Carer, Person centred values, Self-advocacy, Self-determination, Empowerment, person-centred planning (PCP), Working in partnership w ith professionals concerning health care, Barriers, Establishment of Informative Medical Records (the Medical Database), Later-life-planning. The presentation will include a demonstration of the Training Guide for professionals and also discuss CARERS’ work towards defining the requirements and modalities for the definition of a “European Caring passport” for carers. It will discuss the CARERS’ project results and good practice findings based on the Pilot Tests being carried out in each partner country. To collect the audience’s feedback, it will invite participants to give their comments and questions about the resources and the future direction of education and training initiatives in the field.

Impact of environmental changes and training on professional caregiver practices

Kevin Charras, Fondation Médéric Alzheimer, France,

In this communication, we will analyse the impact of an intervention programme consisting in adapting environmental characteristics of special care units for people with Alzheimer’s disease on institutional caregivers. The intervention programme consisted in changing interior design parameters of several special care units in order for the environment to be more familiar to people with Alzheimer’s disease and compensate some of the alterations due to the illness. In addition, we implemented a training programme for the institutional caregivers.The training programme was partly designed to fit and understand the interior design adaptations and partly designed to help accompany people in a person centred approach.

The programme showed encouraging results in terms of behavioural symptoms as well as environmental engagement. Correlations between variations of behavioural disorders presented by the residents and their impact on caregiver distress measured by Cummings Neuro Psychiatric Inventory will be discussed. Qualitative outcomes will also be presented in order to illustrate these results and open new fields of interest in terms of care giving and organisational adaptations.

Role Play, Experiential Learning and Dementia Care Practice: a preliminary study using a grounded theory approach

Judith Farmer, Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom,

Role play has been deliberately included in workshops for practitioners as part of a programme of learning in a mental health trust. The practitioners are already trained in Dementia Care Mapping (Bradford Dementia Group, 2005) and have been instrumental in the creation of the workshop. Role play is regarded by this group as a dynamic and rewarding aspect of their practice development.

Role play is an accepted phenomenon within experiential learning. However, there is little research to support this within dementia care training. This preliminary study used an interpretive method of enquiry based on principles of grounded theory as described by Strauss and Corbin (1998). Two waves of loosely structured interviews and a focus group were held with a total of eleven role play participants. The purposive inclusion of a family carer, a regular member of the workshop, contributed a non-professional perspective. Verbatim transcripts were rigorously analysed and important concepts identified.

Findings suggest that role play provided a context for a complex set of attitudes to dementia to be explored. Emergent themes included busyness in cultures of care, projected beliefs about the experience of dementia and working with lowered personal defences. Role play and the discussions around role play are suggested to offer a form of psychological containment for the anxieties inherent in close relationships with people with dementia. The combined role of researcher and workshop facilitator brought an extra dimension of reflexivity to the study. Further areas for research are identified.



Last Updated: Wednesday 21 October 2009