This week I am attending the Dementia Care Mapping (DCM) International Implementation Group meeting in Singapore.
There are 16 countries represented making it a real united nations experience. This group led by the University of Bradford Dementia Group maintain this quality improvement tool that is regarded world wide as “best practice” in the measurement of person centred dementia care.
In Australia DCM is not widely used but is effective in the pockets of aged care homes where it is used to great effect by the mappers. Over 750 people have been trained in thee use of the tool in the ten years since it was introduced by Virginia Moore and Kim Wylie. We at MPS hope it can continue to grow and become more widely known in aged care in Australia.
Some have suggested it is too expensive but when compared with the waste of money that goes into most training these days (that is ineffective in bringing about behaviour change in staff, which is the main aim of training is it not?) DCM is an economical method of implementing person centred change in cycles over time. The cost of maintaining trained mappers and giving them the time to map should be seen as an investment that is recouped every time they map.
This week we are attending the Alzheimer’s Australia 14th National Conference in Brisbane. The theme this year is “Take a different view” of this condition that will affect an increasing number of older Australians in the years ahead.
Bernie McCarthy is presenting a workshop on “Sexuality and dementia: What are your needs“, a concurrent paper on “Pre-employment screening: Pre-employment screening: Predicting person-centredness in care staff” and a poster on “Successful e-learning in palliative care for rural and remote aged care homes“.
The keynote speaker this year is Prof. Steven Sabat, a psychologist whose books (The Experience of Alzheimers Disease: Life Through a Tangled Veil (Blackwell, 2001), and in his co-edited book, Dementia: Mind, Meaning, and the Person (Oxford University Press, 2006)) have opened up the subjective experience of the person with dementia and helped us consider how the person experiences dementia. We are looking forward to listening to him speak.
Also keynote is Prof. Raymond Tallis whose career as a clinician and scientist has explored human consciousness, and what it is to be a human being. His over 200 publications include textbooks: The Clinical Neurology of Old Age (Wiley, 1988) and Brocklehurst’s Textbook of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology (Harcourt Brace, co-edited with Howard Fillitt, 6th edition, 2003.
If you are attending this years conference please call in and say hello at our exhibition booth No. 20 where we will be selling Bernie McCarthy’s new book“Hearing the person with dementia: Person centred approaches to communication for families and caregivers”.
This is the first of four parts of the second episode of the two episode series (sorry it sounds so complicated) on dementia care. Gerry Robinson is incisive and relentless in his effort to improve the culture of dementia care in the UK.