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York St John University

York St John University is a civic university with a strong focus on York and the immediate region. It makes a significant contribution to York’s businesses, schools and faith groups, health, well-being and cultural life. The University works in partnership with City of York Council including delivering service improvement programmes in social care. It works with businesses and professional service providers providing training and development programmes. The University also works in partnership with the NHS Trust providing a range of continuing professional development programmes. More than 300 York residents attend the exercise and fitness classes held at the University each week – this includes groups for those with dementia. The University works across faith groups in York and the region strengthening understanding and social cohesion. Its Ebor public lectures, in partnership with York Minster, aim to promote dialogue and insights from different faiths on matters of social concern and public policy.

Updated:
9 August 2018
Location:
Yorkshire and Humber
Sectors:
Education Sector, Research Sector
Local Alliances:
York Dementia Action Alliance, Yorkshire & Humber Dementia Action Alliance

1. Action Plan

1. The National Dementia Declaration lists seven outcomes that the DAA are seeking to achieve for people with dementia and their carers. How would you describe your organisation’s role in delivering better outcomes for people with dementia and their carers?

The University will;

  • Sign up to the National Dementia Declaration for England, and become active members of DAA
  • Ensure we are committed to work with others towards improving the quality of life for people living with a dementia
  • Work toward being a ‘Dementia Friendly Community’
  • Work toward all university staff and students taking part in ‘Dementia Friends’ information session or watching their online video
  • Continue to develop ‘dementia friendly’ community events across the university and region.
  • Consult and inform people living with a dementia and their carers are about current future community events, such as supported, specialist dance, cafes and exercise classes
  • Consult people living with a dementia and their carers about care studies & other related teaching resources used within professional programmes
  • Continue to develop dementia-related staff & student research networks across the university’s academic schools
  • Continue to develop dementia-related research networks throughout the Yorkshire region
  • Continue to develop the support that Student Services offer students who are carers
  • Continue to develop the support that Human Resources offer staff who are living with a dementia or who are carers
  • Develop networks with other universities  and  other professional organisations who are active members of the DAA

2. What are the challenges to delivering these outcomes from the perspective of your organisation?

  • Competing priorities for;
    •  YSJ
    • staff
    • students
  • Developing a coordinated, university-wide approach toward being a ‘Dementia Friendly Community’
  • Student and staff’s lack of awareness and understanding of people’s experiences of living with dementia
  • the physical environment is not ‘dementia friendly’

Member website

www.yorksj.ac.uk

2. Actions

  • Work toward all university staff and students becoming dementia friends

    The University now has a number of staff who are Dementia Champions.  They run monthly Dementia Friends information sessions.  Sessions are also offered to particular programmes – all occupational therapy students have sessions built into their programme.  From September 2017, all student ambassadors within the University will become Dementia Friends.

    A project is about to begin with the careers service developing a bank of volunteers who will become Dementia Champions and develop a programme within the University to promote and deliver Dementia Friends sessions to staff and students.

    Status:
    Delivery
  • Link with partner organisations to raise awareness of Dementia through delivery of Dementia Friends sessions

    Through the project with the careers service it is intended that those students who become Dementia Champions will offer Dementia Friends sessions to our partner organisations – businesses and schools.

    Status:
    Planning
  • Continue to develop dementia-related staff & student research networks across the university’s academic schools

    Dementia-related research projects are ongoing within the university as staff and student collaborations.  Some examples of these are:

    • Introducing the living well through activity toolkit into care homes study
    • Studies in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia Forward
    • Study on stigma and dementia presented at Dementia related conference

     Staff also write for publication in relation to working with people with dementia.

    Status:
    Delivery
  • Continue to deliver a range of study days for those working with people with dementia

    There is an on-going programme of study days for those supporting people with dementia.  Examples of these are:

    • Memory and Personhood
    • Dementia: Structuring the Home Environment - The Lived Environment
    • Montessori Principles and Practice for Supporting People with Dementia
    • Falls Management - Policy and Evidence Based Practice
    • Introduction to administering the Activity Card Sort (ACS-UK) with older people
    • Introduction to the application of the Structured Observational Test of Function
    Status:
    Delivery
  • Continue to deliver a range of group sessions for people with dementia and their carers

    York St John University is committed to providing a range of activity sessions for people with dementia and their carers.  Existing sessions are:

    • Dementia Café
    • Dance group
    • Exercise classes

     These sessions are facilitated by members of staff from the occupational therapy programme, dance and sports science.  They are supported by student volunteers.

    Status:
    Delivery
  • Continue to develop the support that Human Resources offer staff who are living with dementia or who are carers and work with student wellbeing services to support student carers.

    York St John provides guidance to support those who experience ill health and long term conditions and those who are carers.  In addition, the human resources department have been keen to support York St John becoming a Dementia Friendly Community with staff becoming Dementia Friends. 

    The student wellbeing service has a support system for student carers.

    Status:
    Delivery
  • Adaptation of the social and built environment enabling an accessible and inclusive setting

    • The social and physical environment is considered by all those facilitating groups for people with dementia within the University.
    • Occupational Therapy students through the use of case studies consider how the environment can be adapted to facilitate participation
    • The sports science department has involved a dementia specialist to discuss making buildings dementia friendly
    • The university offers CPD days to consider the lived environment and its impact on people with dementia
    Status:
    Delivery
  • Develop networks with other professional organisations who are active members of the Dementia Action Alliance such as the College of Occupational Therapists and Nottingham & Worcester Universities. Continue to develop dementia-related research networks

    We have liaised with Nottingham and Worcester University in preparation for submitting this application.  We will continue to develop these links to share good practice.  At present 5 of the 6 Dementia Champions within the University are occupational therapy staff and students and therefore linked to the Royal College of Occupational therapists. We have research links with other organisations throughout the Yorkshire region.

    Status:
    Initial Scoping