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Life story work group presentation to dementia congress 2017


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dementia; life story work; higher education; student healthcare practitioners

Published in: Education
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Life story work group presentation to dementia congress 2017

  1. 1. ‘I thought you would all be stuck up!’ People with dementia educating student healthcare practitioners through life story work. Jane McKeown, Catherine Tattersall & Emma Yarwood The University of Sheffield, School of Nursing and Midwifery & Department of Human Communication Sciences
  2. 2. Key Messages • The value of life story work for developing communications skills with student health care practitioners • The value of involving people with dementia in educational programmes • The opportunity for older people to ‘come to University’
  3. 3. What is Life Story Work • Working individually with a person to listen to stories about their life. • Memories, people, places, hobbies, work…
  4. 4. What is Life Story Work • Negotiating if / how the person wants to record their life story. • Life story books, ‘pen picture’, memory box, collage, photo-story boards, web page…
  5. 5. Group Aims • Improve student confidence in communicating with people with dementia. • Challenge negative student myths about working with people with dementia. • Provide opportunities for people with dementia to undertake life story work.
  6. 6. How the Group Operates • Pre group training for students • Meets every Weds afternoon during each Semester at a University venue. • Speech and Language Therapy & Nursing Students. • People with dementia and family carers. • Project managed – multi-professional. • 2 hours: 1st hour individual life story work; 2nd hour social event.
  7. 7. Photograph by Emma Yarwood
  8. 8. Photograph by Emma Yarwood
  9. 9. Photographs by Emma Yarwood
  10. 10. Evaluation • End of semester focus groups with people with dementia & family carers and with students • Pre and post Dementia Attitude Scale • Ad hoc comments / observations / reflection
  11. 11. People with Dementia “Who could not enjoy coming here! They’re talking my language – football!” “Anybody like me whose got brain problems, it opens it up somehow, to come and talk to people. I certainly think it’ll help other people. It’s a relief actually to know there’s people there to listen.” “The nearest we’ll get to Uni!”
  12. 12. Family Carers / Supporters “It’s bought up nice memories we had forgotten about and some we had not heard about” Family carer “Mum is empowered when she’s here, seeing Mum having confidence; Mum says lots more here; she has self-esteem and confidence” Family Carer “It’s great having somewhere meaningful to refer people with dementia to.” 3rd Sector Worker
  13. 13. Students “I think one of the main benefits is that it allows the person with dementia to be the ‘expert’, only they can recount the details of the experiences that they have had during their life, and I think it is a really positive experience for them to be able to talk about something without feeling that they might not have remembered or might be contradicted, which might happen when talking about the here and now.” “I feel more confident interacting with a person with dementia” “It helped me put my own life into perspective, as with life story work you are experiencing someone else’s life and what they have achieved through their life.”
  14. 14. Dementia Attitude Scale It is rewarding to work with people living with dementia I feel confident around people living with dementia People living with dementia can enjoy life I feel comfortable around people living with dementia I admire the coping skills of people living with dementia
  15. 15. Considerations • Whose story is it? • Social element not for everyone • Attendance • Room space • Funding • Supervision
  16. 16. Photograph by Emma Yarwood
  17. 17. Thank You for Listening Emma Yarwood: Life story project manager and photographer Catherine Tattersall: Speech and Language Therapy Lecturer Contact : Jane McKeown