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P17. Training and education

Detailed programme and abstracts

P17. Training and education (Wednesday 2 Nov., 8.30 - 10.00)

P17.1. TAnDem: doctoral studies in The Arts aNd DEMentia


The provision of arts interventions to people living with dementia has expanded greatly in recent years, but access remains variable. Arts activities are often not provided routinely because of a limited evidence base for their ‘effectiveness’, which makes health and social care commissioners reluctant to fund them.

 TAnDem is one of eight UK doctoral training centres recently funded by the UK Alzheimer’s Society. It aims to address the paucity of research in this area, and especially to address methodological issues, which will assist future work by showing what constitutes good evidence, what a good study looks like, etc.  TAnDem is run jointly between the Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham and the Association for Dementia Studies, University of Worcester, UK. The joint Directors are Professors Justine Schneider and Dawn Brooker. TAnDem has several unique features, innovatively bringing together the complementary supervisory and training resources of two academic dementia centres.

At present, there are seven studentships. Four are underway and three commence in October 2016:

Evaluating the impact of arts-based interventions and activities in dementia: methodological challenges and solutions

Tailoring arts interventions to individual needs in dementia: delivery of arts activities and individual difference (what works for whom)

Evaluating arts interventions in residential homes

An international taxonomy of arts interventions for people living with dementia

The contribution of music therapy to choral singing in dementia care

Assessing the potential for personalised playlists in dementia care to assist in quality of life and communication

The role of metaphor in understanding and communicating dementia

The presentation will briefly outline each of these projects. However, TAnDem intends that they should be regarded as a corpus of research, and further studentships will be added as opportunities present.

P17.2. Positive About Dementia (POSADEM): A pan-European Erasmus project to develop a multi-disciplinary Masters programme in Dementia


The project was developed in response to the pan-European challenge of dementia, and the striking disparities between, and even within member states, in terms of staff education and qualifications. Posadem is an EU multi-lateral project that aims to educate and develop an effective and informed dementia workforce through an interdisciplinary Masters programme. Current partners are based in Austria, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Begun in September 2013 and seeing person-centredness as core (Kitwood 1997), the programme takes an appreciative view of the experience of people living with dementia and those who live with and care for them, with an emphasis on how to support a person’s abilities rather than focus on any loss of capacity (Swaffer 2015). In recognition of this people with dementia travelled to and were directly assisted in project development meetings.

Along with detailed analysis of policy and research literature, we have undertaken three phases of interviews and focus groups with and extensive network people with dementia and their families, and with stakeholders in health and social care, charities and professional organizations..  These data have informed the development of three core Modules: ‘Living with Dementia: Personal Perspectives’; ‘Living with Dementia: Societal Perspectives’ and ‘Living with Dementia: Leadership and Innovation’. Although content can be delivered by classroom methods, the modules are designed to be available on line through any of the common Virtual Learning Environments and will be provided by universities in concert with their wider provision.  We aim to provide useful but more basic introductory content openly on line via a Modular Open On-Line Course (MOOC).

Crucially each module takes a pan-European, interdisciplinary approach.  A particularly innovative aspect of the programme is that each module assessment will include dissemination and integration of learning into practice in services used by people living with dementia and their carers/families, to promote an optimal impact in society. We will report on our recently completed pilot study undertaken with a group of professionals and volunteers working with people with dementia across Europe and on plans to develop dementia inclusive education internationally.

P17.3. The INDA project: a framework for interprofessional education in dementia care


Developing innovative solutions to improve quality of life for not only people with dementia and their caregivers in everyday life, but also for the whole society is essential.

The Social Cluster Association in closed cooperation with the Catholic Church Charity Service launched the “Interprofessional Dementia Approach” (INDA) Project supported by European Union. The program aims set up interprofessional background for the foundation of the Hungarian Dementia Strategy involving experts from the social and medical services, caregivers, education, decision makers and participants of informal care.

How to improve the knowledge about dementia in communities and how to reduce the stigmatization?

To improve the quality and flexibility of care we found urgent need for developing the knowledge of professional carers both in social and health care.

We offered an interprofessional training for to have well-founded knowledge of medical, psychological and social changes associated with dementia. The first priority was to improve the knowledge of those already working in practice: 350 people were trained.

 The participants of the courses have gained a better understanding of dementia and become able to give advice to families and keep professional contact with the actors of the care system. They can be the base of a specialists’ network. The important subjects in the curriculum were ethical issues too. A modern, in this field unique course-book helped their learning process.

Dementia caregiver now is a new profession: first of all, it is chances of gaining qualifications for those already have experience of caregiving.

Knowledge about dementia should also be a component part of continued further education in the medical profession.

Also informal caregivers have to be aware of the different faces of dementia; we organize courses for volunteers and family carers.

We do believe, the INDA is a possible framework to establish the Hungarian Dementia Strategy. 

P17.4. Playful motivation for daily multimodal training and diagnostics: the AktivDaheim game for people with dementia

PALETTA Lucas, PANAGL Mariella, KÜNSTNER Manuela, STEINER Josef, LERCH Alexander, LERCH Marianne, LEFKOPOULOS Philipp, FELLNER Maria

Living at home as long as possible with adequate and sufficient care is a key objective in the treatment of persons with dementia. Most therapies exclusively focus on the stimulation of cognitive processes, however, scientific studies clarified that locomotion and social activities positively and significantly impact the progress of dementia. Favoring multimodal training units that are jointly performed by carer and people with dementia, a fundamental challenge remains in the daily motivation for exercise.

In the Austrian project AktivDaheim (active@home) a serious game was developed in a concept of multimodal training particularly for people who intend to stay at home as long as possible. Key element is an interactive mat sensing about the playful experience of a floor based mat game being performed within a social event of people with dementia. Sensed data are transferred to a Tablet PC equipped with a recommender engine delivering personalized exercise units to enable joyful experience regardless the participant’s progress in dementia disease. Personalised data from the game provide indications for appropriate tuning of weekly training sessions facilitated by informal carer using an easily configurable service on the Tablet PC. Home based, playful training units are performed using wearable sensing of psychophysiological and eye movement based information for the continuous monitoring of individual dementia profiles. A key problem in developing knowledge about dementia and its impacting factors is the lack of data about the mental and physical processes as they evolve over time, and longitudinal quantitative studies about dementia are rare. The AktivDaheim game as well as its sensing and diagnostic toolbox offer affordances for entertaining, measuring and analysis of cognition and locomotion based behavioral parameters, with the purpose to enable people with dementia to stay longer at home and finally to stop or slow down the progress of disease.

P17.5. Basic training programs for working with users with dementia


Objectives: The overall objective is that caregivers should acquire knowledge about modern offenses dementia, understanding of dementia as a disease and changes in the level of conduct of the person suffering from dementia,  understanding the concept of quality of life, particularly in terms of meeting the needs and vulnerability of the human rights of users with dementia, as well as the importance of proper application of the institute of guardianship in protecting users from dementia, and to permit the quality of life.

Methods: The main methods for carer to improve the quality of life, they are based on experiential learning and participatory and interactive methods. Dementia and types of dementia  quality of life, the needs and human rights.Knowledge and skills to work with persons suffering from dementia Recognition of dementia.Distinction between dementia and depression communications with users with dementia.

Results:  Understand and realize the importance of recognizing human needs and application of the concept human rights quality of life;Understand the concept of quality of life. Concluson: Carers should examine the basic features of memory and to recognize the importance of memory for realization of identity and perform daily activities; recognize the changes in customer behavior as indicators of the presence and degree of developing dementia; to understand and apply basic skills of clear, constructive communication and principles of communication with people with dementia.

P17.6. Education of front line staff in residential care- a risky business for senior staff?

HOPE Kevin, LAW Shirley

Developing the knowledge and skills of front line staff is a well-developed and ongoing strategy for improving the quality of life for people with dementia. The Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling has been at the forefront of such activity through the auspices of its ‘Best Practice’ program. However, in dialogue with commissioners, awareness has developed of a secondary factor requiring risk management, namely the insecurities and ongoing support for senior staff within organizations whose staff are being trained.

Drawing on the experience of two case studies, one involving a private provider of residential care and the second a local authority driven approach, this presentation outlines the steps taken, in collaboration with the commissioners, to address such concern.

It outlines the need to describe and explain the work staff will be undertaking, but more significantly, highlights the need for confidence development and knowledge updates focused around a biopsychosocial understanding of dementia. Doing the right thing (evidence based practice) in the right way (person centered care) forms the foundation of such understanding.

Within this template, models of stress and distress as frameworks for understanding behavior that challenges as well as deeper appreciation of person centeredness as a concept are well received. Specific updates on delirium, design for people with dementia and ways of working better with families were requested and addressed.

Building on their development of knowledge, attention is turned to the managers’ significant role in subsequent practice development with concentration on change management and theories. Working through options and potential pitfalls, the opportunity is taken to highlight the need for, and where possible to begin to establish, support systems for these staff who will be facilitating facilitators.



Last Updated: Tuesday 10 January 2017


  • Acknowledgements

    The 26th AE Conference in Copenhagen received funding under an operating grant from the European Union’s Health Programme (2014-2020). Alzheimer Europe and Alzheimerforeningen gratefully acknowledge the support of all conference sponsors.
  • European Union
  • Roche