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P20. Dementia friendly communities

Detailed Programme, abstracts and presentations

P20. Dementia friendly communities (Saturday, 6 October, 10.30-12.00, Europa 2)

P20.1. Dementia Friendly Urban and Rural Communities in South West England

Catherine Hennessy, Ian Sherriff, Helen McFarlane, George Giarchi

As part of a local implementation of the United Kingdom’s National Dementia Strategy for supporting people with dementia and their carers, members of the Plymouth University Dementia Research Team, volunteers and civic officials have formed the Plymouth Dementia Action Alliance (PDAA) and a partnership with Devon County Council (DCC), the Alzheimer’s Society and five parish councils (local government bodies) in Devon to establish dementia friendly parishes. The aim of these projects is to investigate the needs of people with dementia in both an urban and rural setting and to develop ways in which they are enabled to live well with dementia within their own communities. The PDAA and the parishes project aims to develop a dementia friendly community thatrecognises the diversity among individuals with dementia and their carers, promotes their inclusion in all areas of community life, respects their decisions/lifestyle choices and responds flexibly to their dementia related needs and preferences. Currently the PDAA is delivering awareness training with major employers throughout the city of Plymouth and has convened a conference at the University for social work and nursing students and the wider community. The parish councils have constituted a steering group and established the position of a Yealm Dementia Friendly Parishes Coordinator whose role will be to raise local awareness about dementia as part of an inclusive community approach for people with dementia and their carers. The research team are also active participants in one of three Prime Minister’s champion groups, Creating Dementia Friendly Communities, that is providing consultation to national government on developing a formal dementia-friendly recognition process. This presentation will describe the implementation and planned evaluation of the projects by the Plymouth University Dementia Research Team.

P20.2. What people with dementia see as ‘Dementia Friendly Tourism’

Marilyn Cash, Anthea Innes, Clare Cutler

There is little research exploring the interconnection between the experience of people with dementia and their engagement with tourism. Research on tourism and health has traditionally focused on travel medicine and medical issues faced by travelers. Maintaining well-being while living with dementia by keeping physically, socially and mentally active is well documented, and can help to reduce the risk of dependence and health deterioration for those diagnosed with dementia.  However there is no research on the role that tourism can play in supporting the well-being of people with dementia and their carers.

This presentation will report on a pilot project, conducted in the South of England in 2012 involving focus group interviews with people with dementia and their carers. The paper will discuss people with dementia and their family members experiences of using and visiting tourist attractions locally, nationally and internationally and their views about how tourism could be developed to be more ‘dementia friendly’ in the future.  The paper will suggest how the tourism industry can respond to the needs of people with dementia and their carers to increase their use of tourist attractions, accommodation and resorts in the future.

P20.3. Dementia friendly Design in Acute General Hospitals as an element of Dementia-friendly communities

June Andrews

General hospitals and emergency departments are often designed in a way that makes people with dementia more confused and therefore vulnerable to adverse incidents that will increase their length of stay, and make them even less able to return to their previous level of functioning after their general medical problems have been addressed. The Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) has drawn together evidence based guidance on how to improve this situation.  Many changes can be undertaken as part of routine maintenance, so making an environment more dementia-friendly need not be costly.  Other changes require small expenditure on additional items such as clocks and signs.  It is important to consider the considerable financial savings that arise from a reduced spend on avoidable incidents and accidents.  Saving people with dementia from unnecessary suffering and reducing the burden on carers and health care workers therefore comes at a relatively low price, as long as planning and maintenance staff can be persuaded of the need for these changes.

The guidance in this paper is drawn from published books, papers and other materials, and is presented specifically for general hospitals.  Other design guidance from the DSDC has been presented in a form that was intended to inform any building project, but it has become clear that unless guidance is targeted at acute general hospitals, the planners regard it as having no application for that type of facility, or only for their specific care of older people units within the building.  The number of older people and people with dementia or other cognitive impairment in an acute general ward can be up to 70% (Audit Commission, Living Well in Older Life, 2006), and so all clinical areas would benefit from these changes in design or retrofitting of some of the equipment.  Presenting it in a form that is clearly applicable and focused only on acute hospital environments is a step towards having these standards incorporated in government policy and/or legislation.

According to the Alzheimer Society report Counting the Cost (2009) acute hospital nurses spend 90% of their time with older people and people with dementia although they have very little education in this area, so dealing with design features is only part of the solution to the problems of delayed discharge and avoidable reduction in the resilience of older people.   However, the key design features that will help hospital staff do their work more easily in improving care for people with dementia include

  • Attention to light levels and colour contrast
  • Decluttering the environment and attention to way-finding signage
  • Moderating the acoustic environment, to reduce noise including nurse call systems
  • Provision of visual aids to orientation such as clocks
  • Attention to the olfactory environment
  • Use of classic designs in toilet and bathroom fittings for ease of understanding

This presentation will inform participants with a large number of pictorial examples from established projects of a range of practical interventions that they will be able to implement or to persuade their local hospital to implement in the interest of people with dementia.

P20.4. Increasing Alzheimer Disease’s friendly communities through the promotion of specialized training for carers and professionals

Irene Monsonís-Paya, Philippe Duval, Estrella Garcés Durá

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is one of the leading causes of dependency among older adults Europe. Currently, care of AD patients is primary sustained by informal caregivers who, due to their lack of formal and informal support and advice, may provide non-appropriated care for the AD patients and suffer burden and social isolation as a result of their care responsibilities. Moreover, formal care is sometimes provided by unskilled or non-professionals formal caregiver’s who will also face caregiver’s burden due to its lack of training and competences. Moreover, other professionals that provide several daily services, like hairdressers or home assistants, may interact with AD patients without having the necessary communication skills and knowledge to tackle with the disease, which may affect the quality of their work.

The results of the lack of support, advice and training on care provision and communication skills to attend AD patients by formal and informal caregivers and other professional may cause premature institutionalization, violence against AD patients and social exclusion of patients and their informal caregivers.

In this sense, a social innovation research project, funded by the Progress Programme of the DG of Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission, is being developed in France and Spain. In the project “Alzheimer: Tremplin intergénérationnel d’Insertion Sociale et Professionnelle” the authors aim to demonstrate how a specialized training course in AD addressed to potential formal caregivers and other professionals can improve the quality of life and social participation of AD patients and informal caregivers.

The authors will present the results of the first training course developed within the project during March-May 2012. In this phase, a pilot training course has been carried with potential formal caregivers and professionals in the fields of hairdressing, recreational activities and musicians. The contents of the course has provided the trainees with theoretical and practical knowledge on AD and their impact on the patients and informal caregivers, non- pharmacological treatments for AD patients and recommendations and available resources to support informal caregivers, communication skills to interact with AD patients and specific training on reality, validation and music therapy.

Due to their application to concrete professions, the results obtained in this pilot training course are especially relevant as they can be extended to specialized training to other service providers in order to achieve friendly communities to AD people.

P20.5. Caring for People living with Dementia in Community Pharmacies

Petra Plunger, Katharina Heimerl

Background: When caring for people living with dementia, supporting dignity and quality of life for all persons concerned is of utmost importance. This poses a communicative and organizational challenge for health professions, calling for an expansion of professional qualifications, changing professional environments in terms of organization and professional culture, and innovative ways of interdisciplinary cooperation. Last but not least, collaborating with NGOs like self-help groups is a quite new task for health professions. This contribution will focus on community pharmacy as a setting where people with dementia and their relatives are cared for, and explore resources and challenges this setting may offer, because a large number of people living with (early stages of) dementia and their relatives are regular visitors of community pharmacies.

Research Question and Methods: How does the profession of community pharmacists take up discussions on care services for people living with dementia and conceptualize their professional role? What are innovative examples to learn from? Document analysis of policy papers and articles in professional magazines will be used to work on the first question, and the literature will be searched to get an overview of models of good practice.

Results and Discussion: So far, analysis of policy papers has shown that the community pharmacy is perceived by European professional bodies as a promising setting for dementia care services: Community pharmacists are trained in issues relevant for dementia care services like medicines management, and the pharmacy offers low-threshold access not only to services related to medicines management, but also to patient education and patient care. Furthermore, the profession enjoys high levels of trust in the general population.

Concerning models of good practice, besides services related to medicine management, preventive and health promoting services are offered to people living with dementia and their relatives, and to some extent, cooperation with self-help groups can be found.

Implications for strengthening the position of community pharmacies in dementia care services will be discussed. Emphasis will be placed on how to expand the “medicines focus” implicit in some policy statements to a broader people centered health care focus. Issues related to involving persons concerned (e.g. via involvement of self-help groups) in the development of care services and on questions surrounding the unique position of community pharmacy as a link between the “world” of medicine and “lifeworld” will be discussed. Concluding, specific opportunities for community pharmacies in Austria will be discussed.



Last Updated: Thursday 15 November 2012