Jessica Blaak, currently undertaking MSc in Advanced Dementia Studies at the University of
Bradford, shares her experience of studying with us:
My journey to dementia care is a bit atypical. My undergraduate degree was in human
kinetics and my work history has been from recreation to personal training to working with kids with autism spectrum disorder. Throughout was the consistency of seeking to help people live fuller, more complete lives.
Fast forward to my current work. I work as a Rehabilitation Assistant in a long term care facility on Vancouver Island in Canada. When I first took a job in residential care six years ago I was terrified! I had never worked with anyone with dementia and felt ill equipped and undereducated. However I quickly discovered that I was more comfortable in this environment then I had been anywhere else. So I wanted to learn more. I started learning from those around me, researching and taking courses. But I still felt I needed more education around dementia.
This is where the University of Bradford came in. I needed to be able to learn from home as I live in a remote place and have a family making moving for education not possible. The University of Bradford was my first choice as it was cost effective; had courses that interested me; allowed me to study, work and still be available for my family; and had well respected faculty and past students.
I have finished my first year of MSc in Advanced Dementia Studies and know I made the right decision. The courses are easy to follow and have great transferable content. The instructors are understanding, encouraging and available. The students are from various backgrounds and we learn from each other. The courses I have taken have caused me to rethink my practice and driven me to want to do more to advocate for people living with dementia.
I don’t necessarily know what the future holds. I did not start my Masters to advance my career but to enhance it. But I do know I want to do something that matters and I firmly believe the more I can learn the better I can impact those around me. So whatever I do in the future I hope I can educate, advocate and better support people living with dementia and those who care for them.
Written by Jessica Blaak
We are now recruiting for the MSc Advanced Dementia Studies starting in September 2020