UK Dementia Congress 2017

Clare Mason, Ana Barbosa and Vasileios Stamou at the Centre for Applied Dementia Studies tell us about UK Dementia Congress 2017….

For many years, the Centre for Applied Dementia Studies has been an Academic Sponsor of the UK Dementia Congress. I’ve attended now for several years representing the school at our stand.  It’s a great opportunity to hear about the latest research and work that is being done in the field of dementia, meet up with colleagues from across the country and most importantly, hear from and meet those who are directly affected by dementia.  The first person to come and say hello at our stand was one of our valued Experts by Experience, Wendy Mitchell, Wendy is a great supporter and collaborator of our work in Bradford and is involved in many of our research projects.  I’m lucky enough to be able to consult with Wendy about many aspects of our work; most recently she’s been giving her input into our ‘Accessible Campus’ project where we aim to work with colleagues across the university to make the campus more accessible and therefore more dementia friendly.

Picture taken by Wendy Mitchell

Congress is also a great opportunity for team building and spending precious time with colleagues, this year Ana Barbosa, who works with me in the Knowledge Transfer Team writes:

I was fortunate to attend the UK Dementia Congress for the first time. As a first time attendee, I found the congress to be a great opportunity to learn and hear the latest research in dementia care but also to network with academics and practitioners working in the field. It was fantastic to see how keen people were on getting to know our work and collaborate with us on different levels. I had the privilege of chairing a session on post diagnostic support for people at early stages of dementia with Professor Gail Mountain and Dr Vasileios Stamou as speakers. We worked hard to ensure an enjoyable and educational experience for everyone and it was rewarding to see that the session incited a stimulating discussion among the audience. The importance, barriers and facilitators to post diagnostic interventions dominated much of the discussion but there was also time to hear and learn from attendees’ personal experiences. I left the conference pleased, inspired and motivated!

Another colleague, Vasileios Stamou, a researcher working on the ANGELA project also attended for the first time, he reflected:

The University of Bradford has a strong presence in the congress each year. This year, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to be part of the Bradford Dementia Team that took part in the conference and witness first-hand the quality of the event which offered a diverse environment and brought together health practitioners, professionals, academic experts and lay audiences from all over the country. There was a wide range of topics covered across the three days of the conference, which allowed showcasing the various health, social and medical aspects related to dementia, both from the professionals’ and the service users’ perspectives. Of particular interest for me were the sessions on young onset dementia, such as the Young Dementia Network session, that were thought-provoking and raised very interesting discussions. I also had the opportunity to be part of Professor Gail Mountain’s symposium entitled “Post-diagnostic support: What should be provided for people with early stage dementia?” which was a very stimulating experience. During the symposium, three different studies were presented among which the ANGELA Project, which is a national study I am currently involved in as a researcher and focuses on improving the diagnosis and post-diagnostic support for younger people with dementia and their families / supporters.