Work For Us

Dementia webinar brings young onset forms to life

Thu 18 Mar 2021 - posted by PJ Care
"Absolutely amazing!  Informative, emotional - I'm lost for words."

That was the response of just one of the attendees to our webinar on young onset dementia.

Infection control measures in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic meant a face to face session wasn't possible.

So, we organised an online event for our staff members and relatives of some of the residents at our care centres.  The aim was to increase their knowledge and to give them more confidence, skills and understanding to respond to the needs and behaviours of our residents with YOD.

Dementia is 'young onset' when it presents before the age of 65.  It's also called 'working age' or 'early onset' dementia.

Expert insight

A range of speakers were invited to present on the day and share their professional and personal experience.

Among them was Karen Harrison-Denning, Head of Research and Publications at Dementia UK, a charity which merged with YoungDementia UK in November 2020.

She talked from her 40+ years' experience as a nurse, many of which had been spent in dementia care settings.

Expertise also came from in-house.  Our training officer, Jo Lamb, was able to share both professional experience of dementia care, eight years of which she has spent with us, and personal experience.  Her grandmother was diagnosed with vascular dementia at the age of 49.

Cara Payne from the Alzheimer's Society shared information about the organisation's new service, Dementia Connect.

Offering personalised dementia support, it provides people affected by dementia with the support they need, when they need it, by phone, online and face to face.

Anna and the Beast

But perhaps the most powerful session was delivered by Christine Reddall.  A qualified nurse, she shared the often heart-breaking story of caring for her daughter, Anna, who was diagnosed with behavioural variant fronto-temporal dementia at the age of 37.  Her story is now a book, 'Anna and the Beast.'

Both families and staff alike were moved but also enlightened by Christine.

"My highlight was listening to Christine," one staff member commented.  "It is something I will take back to my practice and reflect on whenever I am looking after our residents."

Our thanks to all of our speakers and to those who attended.  Special thanks go to our training officer, Jason Pinnock, for organising such an engaging event.