Developments in education, training and practice in the field of dementia
Dementia is everybody’s concern. It is a global issue. As we begin to discover more about dementia and what works well for people with the diagnosis, as well as their families and caregivers, there is still a concern that front-line staff are often insufficiently trained and prepared for their work. There is a clear gap between research, the evidence of what is helpful and day-to-day working practice. My own experience as a family carer has, on occasions, left me in a state of bewilderment about the general lack of knowledge about dementia in services that often claim to be specialist in nature. (Basset 2013) The six papers in this ebook highlight innovative attempts to increase knowledge and enhance skills in a variety of locations in the UK. Each shows that the gap between research and practice can be breached, even though the gap still remains wide. Overall, they show that innovative steps are being taken in the right direction and that progress is achievable when all those involved are able to contribute their expertise and work together. The picture painted here is of innovative projects flourishing in a relatively small context, compared to the more general and widespread situation of poor investment in dementia training across the UK. We certainly need more resources for training and education, as well as a positive approach, as we deal with dementia in the 21st Century – and let’s try to concentrate on reasons to be cheerful when we look at the future of dementia care.
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