Evaluation of ‘Dementia Friends’ programme for undergraduate nursing students: Innovative practice

Mitchell, G. & McCreevy, J. Dementia. Published online: March 14 2016

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Image source: Number 10

The ‘dementia friends’ programme was launched by the Alzheimer’s Society in the UK two years ago with the purpose of educating members of the public about the things they can do which can enhance the lives of people living with dementia. The aim of this project was to deliver a two-hour ‘Dementia Friendly Community Workshop’ written by the Alzheimer’s Society, to an entire cohort of first-year undergraduate nursing students in one Higher Education Institutions in Northern Ireland.

Following delivery of the programme, students were asked to complete a short questionnaire on their knowledge and confidence in relation to dementia care before and after the Dementia Friendly Community programme. A total of 322 undergraduate first-year nursing students took part in the Dementia Friendly Community programme. Of these, 304 returned questionnaires; 31.25% of students stated their perceived improvement in dementia knowledge was ‘good’ while 49.01% stated their perceived improvement in dementia knowledge was ‘very good’ and 13.49% stated their perceived improvement in dementia knowledge was ‘excellent’. In relation to confidence in engaging with people with dementia, 31.91% stated ‘good’ improvement, 40.79% stated ‘very good’ improvement and 11.84% stated ‘excellent’ improvement.

The Dementia Friendly Community programme was positively reviewed by the undergraduate students as it enhanced knowledge and confidence in relation to care of someone living with dementia.

Read the full abstract here

Hearing loss and dementia

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has published Dementia friendly communities: supporting learning and outreach with the deaf community.  This report aims to inform the development of policy and practice in relation to dementia awareness and information models in the Deaf community and with people with hearing loss. These approaches challenge misconceptions and provide signposting for appropriate information and support. The report considers and provides next steps on best practice models based on a pilot project with Alzheimer’s Society and BDA.

Dementia-friendly initiatives

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The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has published the following documents relating to dementia:

How can we make our cities dementia friendly? Sharing the learning from Bradford and York – draws out the key messages from independent evaluations of the Dementia Friendly Communities programmes in York and Bradford.

Evaluation of the Bradford Dementia Friendly Community Programme – identifies the distinctive features of the Bradford Dementia Friendly Communities programme, and examines how people with dementia can influence what a Dementia Friendly Bradford should be like.

Evaluation of the York Dementia Friendly Community Programme – identifies the distinctive features of the York Dementia Friendly Communities programme, which promotes a range of innovative projects. It looks at how people with dementia have been involved in shaping the programme.


Developing a national user movement of people with dementia
– learning from the Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project (DEEP) – describes the growth of DEEP over a three-year period (2012–2015).

On the journey to becoming a dementia friendly organisation – sharing the learning for employers and organisations – shares the learning from Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Dementia without Walls programme

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Practical Guide to Dementia-Friendly Environments: the Access Audit (Innovations in Dementia)

Innovations in Dementia have produced a quick checklist on how to perform an audit with the aim of making buildings more suitable for people with dementia. The “access audit” includes an assessment of how persons with dementia typically approach the building and navigate the inside. Use of suitable signs, lighting, flooring, seating areas, toilets etc. are covered. This brief guide signposts readers where to obtain further advice and guidance.

Full Text Link

Note: Credit goes to the Housing Learning and Improvement Network for making this document available.

via Practical Guide to Dementia-Friendly Environments: the Access Audit (Innovations in Dementia).