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World Dementia Envoy visits University of Salford Institute for Dementia

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World Dementia Envoy visits University of Salford Institute for Dementia

Friday 27 March 2015

World Dementia Envoy, Dr Dennis Gillings, yesterday (Thursday 26 March) visited the Institute for Dementia at the University of Salford to learn about the technologies being developed to help care for people living with dementia.

Dr Gillings was joined by local MP, Rt Hon Hazel Blears, and the University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Maggie Pearson, as they heard from academics from a number of different University departments and local social enterprises that are working with the Institute to support people living with dementia.

The group also observed first-hand demonstrations of innovative robotics technology being developed at the University.

The World Dementia Envoy was able to see robotics that are being developed to allow care and emergency services to be alerted if someone living with dementia falls or injures themselves in their homes. In addition, there was a demonstration of robotic arm technology that can assist with eating, drinking and taking medication. 

The Salford Institute for Dementia is a world-leading research centre that works with academics from across subject areas and with people living with dementia, to develop new solutions that allow people to live as independently and as well as possible.

Last year the Institute was shortlisted for the finals of the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friendly Award.  In addition Joy Watson, a member of the Institute’s External Advisory Group who is living with dementia and was diagnosed at the age of 55, won the Dementia Friends Champion award.

Speaking after the event, Dr Dennis Gillings said: “Salford is very impressive, looking at the dedication and teamwork of everyone involved here.  Clearly the motivation to cure or care for patients is extremely high.  I’m very impressed by the political processes that seem to be making a lot of teamwork and inter-agency partnering very realistic. 

“It’s been an extremely worthwhile visit to Salford.”

Institute for Dementia External Advisory Board Chair, Rt Hon Hazel Blears MP, also said: “Dementia care is something I am very passionate about and I’m proud of the approach the University’s Institute for Dementia has taken.  Using skills from across the institution, in nursing, robotics, the arts and much more, the Institute has become a hub of innovation in working with and helping to care for people living with dementia.”

Professor Maggie Pearson, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Public Benefit) and Dean for Health & Social Care at the University of Salford, added: “Everyone at the University and the Institute for Dementia was delighted to welcome Dr Gillings.  He was able to see for himself the pioneering work we’re doing in partnership with people living with dementia, local social enterprises and cutting-edge technology, to support people to live as well as possible with dementia.

It was very encouraging to hear Dr Gillings express such support for the work we’re doing, and we hope to welcome him back very soon.”