This is a guest post from Trevor Adams from the University of Surrey. Trevor is very well known for his work in the area of Dementia care and has been widely published. As ever, we are delighted to feature guest posters – so if you think you have something you want to say then please get in touch.
I have recently received a SCEPrE Fellowship (see http://www.surrey.ac.uk/sceptre/) from my own University, the University of Surrey. The award offers funding to undertake a project that will ‘promote excellence in Professional Training (placement learning) and enhance students’ experiences through enquiry-rich approaches to learning’. Over the last few years I have developed with others, the idea that there are three agencies involved in dementia care, people with dementia, family carers, and care staff. This is often called ‘relationship centred care’. This work has not just focused on ideas and theories associated with working alongside people with dementia and their carers, but has also described various strategies and skills that may be used to promote their well-being.
My main aim within the Fellowship is to develop four films, each about 20 minutes long for publication on YouTube. This will make the films accessible to all and will hopefully, help nurses and other care staff develop worthwhile and effective skills in promoting the well-being of people with dementia and their family carers. The films will draw on relationship centred approaches, but will also include positive person-work that was developed by Tom Kitwood. One of the films will concern the experience of care staff and will draw on the idea of emotional labour.
At the moment you can buy various teaching packages on dementia care, and I am sure they are very good. But they often cost a lot and I suspect, frequently lie unused on office shelves. I want to develop a package that was freely available and open to all. One reason for this is that teaching is changing. When I first became a nurse teacher I used to spend hours and hours preparing acetates. Now it is different and I have increasingly used films from YouTube in my teaching. It is really good to hear Dr Niles Crane from Channel 4’s ‘Frasier’ talk about how Alzheimer’s disease affects the brain (sorry if you are not a Frasier fan! ):
These films offer students a really great learning experience and are a easy way of listening to experts, whether they are staff, carers, or patients. I now want to use YouTube to help nursing students and others learn skills associated with dementia care.
As part of the Fellowship, I will be completing a wiki. As the Fellowship continues, I will be adding to this and sharing more about its progress. If you want to keep in touch, the wiki will be available here.
Photos Flickr creative commons
1. University of Surrey by Kai Hendry