GCU supports Dementia Awareness Week

23 May 2017

GCU supports Dementia Awareness Week

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) is supporting Dementia Awareness Week Scotland, which takes place from May 24 to June 4.

The School of Health and Life Sciences is hosting a series of events which aim to raise awareness of the condition and promote a dementia-friendly community at GCU.

GCU will be showcasing the Virtual Dementia Tour, an interactive tour that simulates the day-to-day experiences of people living with dementia with the aim of building a greater understanding of the condition. The event will give staff, students and members of the public the opportunity to experience the virtual tour, which requires participants to wear specifically designed equipment while asking them to carry out a number of simple tasks.

Val Howatson, Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing, said: “Dementia mainly affects older people, although there is a growing awareness of cases starting before the age of 65. After 65, the likelihood of developing dementia roughly doubles every five years.

“Approximately 90,000 people have dementia in Scotland in 2016 and around 3,200 of these people are under the age of 65.

“As a society and a university, we have a responsibility to ensure that we are addressing this great need and facilitating opportunities for discussion.

"GCU is proud to promote a dementia-friendly community and welcomes the opportunity to raise awareness and support mechanisms for people living with the condition and their families.

“The virtual tour is one way in which GCU is working to improve healthcare workers understanding and compassion. By gaining a brief insight in to what it might be like to live with dementia, we hope that carers, healthcare professionals, families  and communities can have a greater understanding of the challenges faced by a person and therefore are better equipped to provide the optimal, person-centred care and support they can."

Dementia is a syndrome that can be caused by a number of progressive disorders. It can affect memory, thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia. Other types include vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia.

As part of the series of events, the charity Playlist for Life is running two free interactive workshops on Thursday, June 1, to highlight the benefits of using personalised music in dementia care. Founded by writer, BBC presenter and GCU Dr Sally Magnusson, the charity connects people with dementia to their memories through music.

The morning sessions are open to staff, students and the public – click here to sign up for the event Eventbrite. An afternoon sessions are exclusively for family members and carers of people living with dementia – click here to sign up for the event on Eventbrite.

For further information please contact Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing Val Howatson Val.Howatson@gcu.ac.uk 0141 331 3362

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