Written by Active Minds on Monday the 7th of December 2015.
A team at Brighton and Sussex Medical school has partnered with the Alzheimer’s Association, the University of Surrey, and several local mental health trusts to kickstart a brand new initiative in dementia care and research.
Titled ‘Time for Dementia’, the project has been created with the intention of helping paramedic, nursing, and medical students gain a better understanding of the effects of dementia by spending increased amounts of time with dementia patients and their families.
Rather than one-off visits to care homes or individuals with dementia, Time for Dementia will see as many as 800 students pay regular visits to the homes and families of those living with the condition. Students will pay up to four two-hour visits per year, in the hopes of establishing personal connections that project organisers feel will be invaluable in bettering understanding of dementia.
Project leader Sube Banerjee from the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust hopes that prolonged and sustained contact with dementia patients will help medical students gain a far better insight into what it is like to live with dementia, helping them to understand what it is like to live with a serious, long-term condition. The team hopes that forging such connections and improving understanding will go a long way towards boosting the quality of care offered by medical professionals in the future.
At the moment, around 200 families are taking part in the initiative but organisers hope to eventually work with up to 400 families. Those already taking part say that the experience has been incredibly positive and that they believe it is essential for medical students to make personal contact with those living with the condition in order to understand that dementia affects everyone differently.
If you think you might be interested in taking part in Time for Dementia, get in touch with Join Dementia Research to find out more.