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By Debbie le Quesne

Dementia care trainees are real stars

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Care professionals who took part in a Sandwell dementia training initiative have proved themselves to be real stars.

Having completed a 10-month programme, 19 candidates were presented with their ‘dementia star’ badges and certificates by West Midlands Care Association (WMCA) chief executive Debbie Le Quesne at the Sandwell Training and Development Centre. Popes Lane, Oldbury.

The training, to help care staff have advanced practical skills in dealing with and understanding the memory-loss condition, was the result of a partnership between the local authority, the Association of Dementia Studies at Worcester University and WMCA.

Dee Westwood, of the university, led workshops and visited many of the training group’s care homes to advise on care.

This initiative was an excellent platform to not only learn new skills, but to share ideas and best practice and like it or not, dementia looms big on the horizon for future care models. I applaud Sandwell local authority for setting aside funds to engage with us on this training journey.

Expanding dementia knowledge for carers and dealing with the stigma so often associated with the disease is crucial.

Neighbouring Dudley borough has also been proactive with their gateways initiative and dementia friendly shops.

Please Mr Cameron, we need more funding channelled into this vital area of health care.

It’s  been heartening to hear that some of those who have completed the training have now been promoted. Although the course if formally finished, training group candidates will continue to interact and offer support to each other.

All dementia registered care homes in Sandwell were invited to the workshops with the biggest response from small independent homes and national group HC1.

Professor Dawn Brooker PhD CPsychol (clin) AFBPsS, director of Worcester University’s Association of Dementia Studies, was unable to attend the presentation, but passed on her best wishes to the group. She is keen to continue dialogue with WMCA as is develops more dementia training models.

The association is currently researching a new training module for home care, focusing on social care tools to help people stay in their own homes for as long as possible.Image

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