Date of release: Thursday, April 12, 2018

An award-winning and innovative educational programme will be launched in Greenwich next week (Thursday 26 April). The Time for Dementia project is designed to educate student health care professionals about dementia and the challenges that come with it.

Funded by Health Education England, the project was launched in Surrey and Sussex three years ago alongside Brighton and Sussex Medical School and the University of Surrey. But now, thanks to the success of the programme and further funding from Health Education England, it will be rolled out to the University of Greenwich and Canterbury Christ Church University, as well as University of Brighton. 

The launch will be held at the University of Greenwich and will include a talk from a family who will take part in the programme, and have already been visited by University staff, so they are aware of what the students may experience. The faculty staff will also talk about their experience of the visit.

Morag Redfern, Head of Adult Nursing and Paramedic Science at the University of Greenwich, said: "The University of Greenwich is delighted to become a partner in the Time for Dementia programme. This will provide our Adult Nursing, Paramedic Science and Speech and Language Therapy students with the opportunity to develop a greater awareness and understanding of dementia and its challenges in a real life context.

"We are also embracing the opportunity to promote inter-professional learning through the pairing of students from different disciplines, which we envisage will further enhance their knowledge, skills and attributes in working with people with dementia and their families through the sharing of professional expertise."

The programme enables students the chance to visit a family affected by dementia in pairs over a two year period, which provides a unique opportunity to see people with dementia in their own home, over a period of time. The visits are designed to enable students to see how a diagnosis of dementia can affect people and the challenges and changes they may face over time.

Lauren Merrison, Alzheimer's Society Project Manager for Time for Dementia, said: "We're delighted to be able to grow the project into other counties. Students in Surrey and Sussex have told us that they're more aware of dementia and not only how it affects the person with dementia and their carer, but also their family life.

"We think it is of the utmost importance to involve people with a diagnosis of dementia and their carers or family on the training of these student healthcare professionals. This programme gives the students a chance to learn from the experts on dementia – the people directly affected by the condition. It's a good way for them to gain knowledge first hand of what it's like living with dementia and the challenges they have to overcome."

To find out more about the programme or to get involved call Lauren Merrison at the Alzheimer's Society on 07713 779582 or email her at timefordementia@alzheimers.org.uk

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Notes to editors:

The University of Greenwich has been providing higher education for over 125 years. It has over 20,000 UK and international students studying at three campuses in the UK, and an additional 17,000 students studying overseas.
The University of Greenwich is a public, research university with four faculties: Architecture, Computing & Humanities; Business School; Education & Health; and Engineering & Science. It's part of the University Alliance group and is silver rated in the Teaching Excellence Framework.
The university operates across three campuses: Greenwich and Avery Hill in London and Medway in Kent. Its renowned research has been globally received and endorsed by nine Times Higher Education Awards and four Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher & Further Education.
Notable alumni include Nobel Laureate Sir Charles Kao, Blur musician David Rowntree and campaigner Doreen Lawrence, Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon.

Alzheimer's Society:
Alzheimer's Society is the UK's leading dementia charity. We provide information and support, fund research, campaign to improve care and create lasting change for people affected by dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Dementia devastates lives. Alzheimer's Society research shows that 850,000 people in the UK have a form of dementia. By 2021, 1 million people will be living with the condition. This will soar to two million by 2051.
Dementia deaths are rising year on year and 225,000 will develop dementia this year - that's one every three minutes.
Dementia costs the UK economy over £26 billion per year. This is the equivalent of more than £30,000 per person with dementia.