With dementia taking centre stage at the G8 summit this week, the University of Salford’s Institute for Dementia and the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) have established an exciting new partnership to support people affected by dementia and improve access to information about the illness.
The University launched the Salford Institute for Dementia on Monday (9 December) to focus its resources on helping people with dementia, their families and the people who support them to understand its causes and what they can expect as the condition progresses.
The Institute will aim to improve the quality of everyday life for people with dementia, with simple measures to make the design of the home and garden less challenging for people with the condition. Technology can be used to remind people to undertake key tasks such as taking medicines or eating a meal, while physical and social activities can improve a person’s mood.
Resources such as social networks, pod casts, apps and advice booklets will build upon the University and SCIE’s expertise in dementia design. They will be used to offer advice on how the physical environment can be made simpler and less challenging for people with dementia whose cognitive abilities and perception of things like noise levels and lighting may have changed.
The new material will be available in a range of digital forms through SCIE’s Dementia Gateway - an online advice, information and training tool for anyone who wants to understand dementia.
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Salford, Professor Martin Hall, said:
“A hallmark of the Institute’s approach is to involve people affected by dementia in developing its work and defining which issues it should address. We warmly welcome this exciting collaboration with the Social Care Institute for Excellence
“Our commitment to improving the experience of people affected by dementia is reflected not just in the establishment of the Institute, but also in our commitment to work towards becoming a dementia friendly university.”
Lord Michael Bichard, Executive Chair of SCIE said: “SCIE is delighted to be working with the University of Salford. People with dementia and the friends, family and staff who support them need reliable, evidence-based but accessible and easy-to-understand information. SCIE’s redeveloped Dementia Gateway provides that information and will be the perfect vehicle to share new resources in the future.”
Hazel Blears, the Labour MP for Salford and Eccles, who is attending the Dementia G8 summit and will chair the Institute’s External Advisory Board, said: “This collaboration has fantastic potential to ensure people with dementia, their carers, family and friends can access up to date information and support.
“It is vital that these resources are informed directly by the priorities and needs of those with the condition so I am delighted that the University is actively involving the local community in its Institute.
“I know from the experience of my mum, who has Alzheimer’s, how important it is to help people with dementia to live well and independently for as long as possible.
“The University has a great track record in helping to make this possible - both through its research and its involvement in helping organisations to make their services more accessible to people with dementia through the Salford Dementia Action Alliance.
“The new Institute and link-up with the Social Care Institute for Excellence will build upon this and ensure that the latest exciting technological advances and advice reach the people that really matter as soon as possible.”