University lecturer invests in gem of an idea for dementia training
A lecturer at the University of Wolverhampton has invested in the gem of an idea to improve dementia care having recently completed training offered by Teepa Snow – one of North America’s leading educators on dementia – and she’s now one of only fifteen people in the UK certified as a trainer.
As a Registered Occupational Therapist for over 30 years, Teepa Snow has developed a range of practical techniques and training models that are used by families and professionals working or living with dementia throughout the world. Her Positive Approach to Care™ (PAC) concept was developed to support people living with dementia by equipping both formal and informal carers with specific skills aimed at increasing understanding of what it is like to live with dementia. Her approach is focused on care delivery, rather than theories.
Jayne Murphy, a former District Nurse from Walsall who is now a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing, is one of only fifteen people in the UK to become a certified PAC™ trainer, and the only person affiliated with a Midlands university, enabling her to teach the approach, tailoring the training to the needs of individuals such as family or professional carers, registered or unregistered medical staff or organisations such as nursing homes and local hospitals.
She said: “The training package developed by Teepa Snow is having a big impact on dementia care across America and Canada. The Positive Approach to Care incorporates a GEMS concept where people living with dementia are viewed as precious gems – including sapphire, diamond, emerald, amber, ruby and pearl and the focus of the training is on the individuals and what skills remain, rather than what has been lost.
“Much of the existing dementia training and education focuses on theoretical explanations of pathology, complicating factors and challenges associated with the care giving or with the diseases causing the dementia. PAC gives practical advice and a hands-on approach on how to connect and interact with people living with dementia exploring making connections with people in a specific way with more use of the senses, including touch.
“As one of the region’s leading universities, we are actively involved in the Dementia Action Alliance, over 700 organisations who have pledged to improve outcomes for people living with dementia. Our Centre for Applied Research and Education (CARE) in Dementia was set up in 2012 and works to oversee and progress the dementia educational offer at the University both in partner organisations and in providers of dementia care services.”
Vicki Gardner, The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, said: “Jayne recently delivered the Teepa Snow training to a group of clinicians at the hospital and it was very well received with one of the group saying that they were going to change the way they work so that they could deliver dementia care in a more practical and personal way. Others said that the programme was both very useful and inspiring.”
Sandra Dilks, Specialist Practice (Practice Nursing) student, said: “The Teepa Snow session was very enlightening. Although I had years caring for my granddad I didn't realise how small changes to approach and manner with a person could make a massive difference. Many forget the person and just see those suffering with dementia as returning to childhood behaviour. The techniques and approaches in the Positive Approach to Care training changes that perception.”
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Date Issued: 17th February 2016