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What our summer school students say

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students, college of medicine, summer school 2013

summer school 6“The school was fantastic – the highlight of my undergraduate degree so far!” student, 2014

“I really enjoyed meeting like thinking students across the disciples. It has left me questioning why some of the self help ‘solutions’ are not more widely used and a yearning to make a difference.” student, 2014

“I just wanted to say thankyou for an amazing learning experience. The content and the way the Summer School is organised has left me with so many ideas and renewed motivation. As a social work student, social and psychological well-being are key themes in effective practice, and what struck me was how collectively students believed an approach that covered mind, body and spirit was the way forward in promoting self-care and resilience, at what is a trying time in terms of funding etc. Likewise, agreed agenda, goals and partnership between service users and professionals can only have a positive long-term effect.” – social work student, 2014

‘Personally since the Summer I have lobbied nationally to the chartered society of physiotherapy and presented a motion at the Annual representatives conference for physiotherapists across the UK which got passed that the CSP will now encourage dementia training in all pre-reg physiotherapy courses across the UK. I was also published in front line the physiotherapy magazine in October telling them about the conference and the importance of dementia training’. Physiotherapy Student, UEA, 2013

‘I am on my finial dietetics placement at my local hospital in Crewe.  I think what I have taken away from the dementia summer school has been a very personal experience for me.  I have been using the knowledge gained at the summer school to apply what was learnt and can show awareness of how the condition affects the individual and the emotions they are going through.  I am currently working on a ward with a lovely lady who has dementia, she is very confused and sometimes becomes agitated and throw things (her full plate of food yesterday).  She was found walking the streets half-dressed and has been admitted to hospital until a care home can be found for her.

Through my understanding of the disease I try to communicate with her at her level as I am sure she understands me by the way she acknowledges with body posture.  Unfortunately she finds it very difficult to communicate verbally with me and  just uses the occasional one word, like; tablets, toilet or toast.  Strangely I have only just realise they all begin with ‘T’!    Anyway, she becomes quite agitated and frustrated with other staff members lashing out and slamming the door in their faces.  I think it is because they talk to her as if she doesn’t understand what is going on.  Yesterday she wanted to watch the finance budget on the television and I asked her if she was happy with the outcome today –she couldn’t respond but I could see she understood as she smiled and shrugged her shoulders as to suggest it’s the same old thing.  I don’t think my understanding and respect for individuals with dementia would have been as broad without the summer school and I am grateful to have had that opportunity and experience.  The rapport we have built is two sided as she signals to me when she needs something and even waved goodbye to me today.  I might not be changing the world with my experience but this is just the first step on my personal journey of understanding the needs of people with dementia. Thank you summer school!’ Dietetics Student, University of Chester

‘I just finished my MSc and my dissertation topic was ‘the role of fatty acids in cognitive decline’. It concentrated understanding the pathophysiology of the cognitive decline and how we could delay the onset of cognitive decline whether that was due to AD pathology or age. I will certainly be contributing to the field of dementia and I am already planning the next stages in which I can add to the knowledge of how to delay the onset of cognitive decline through nutrition and lifestyle and how we could get that message out there’. Nutrition Student, CNLEM

‘Following the fantastic summer school last year I pledged to get Dementia specifically on our curriculum. I am delighted to tell you that we have a 6-week long case study examining dementia care and the condition in general! We have also had a visiting speaker of a Dementia Nurse’. OT Student, University of Cardiff