Campus News

International dementia care speaker presents public lecture

Internationally respected UK-based dementia researcher Professor John Keady has been in Wollongong this week as part of a national tour, speaking about the importance of giving people with dementia a voice.

Professor Keady yesterday (6 December) presented a free public guest lecture about involving people with dementia and their carers in dementia care research and practice. The lecture was hosted by the NSW/ACT Dementia Training Study Centre (DTSC), based at UOW.

NSW/ACT DTSC Director Professor Richard Fleming said Professor Keady’s work in the field of dementia care reflects his commitment to ensuring the voice of those with dementia is heard.

“His visit signifies the growing awareness in Australia of the need to involve the person with dementia, and their carers, to the fullest extent possible in the decisions that are made about their care. Professor Keady extends this view into the area of research, championing the position of the individual with dementia as a collaborator in research, not a subject of research,” Professor Fleming said.

“Much is said and reported about the ‘dementia epidemic’ – with the number of people with dementia expected to reach almost 1 million by 2050 - and the strain this will place on Australia’s health care resources. With this comes the danger that people with dementia will become even more stigmatised than they have been in the past, as society grapples with the economic and social issues involved in providing the care that will be needed.

“Professor Keady’s work provides a counterbalance to this and everyone involved in caring or researching in the field of dementia should be aware of it,” Professor Fleming said.

Professor Keady is Professor of Older People’s Mental Health Nursing in the University of Manchester, leads its Dementia and Ageing Research team and is the founding and co-editor of Dementia: the international journal of social research and practice. He also has a clinical base at the Greater Manchester West Mental Health National Health Service Trust. He is a former dementia care mental health nurse whose academic positions include holding the first Professorial Chair in dementia care nursing in the UK, at Northumbria University in the UK.

During his Australian speaking tour Professor Keady is presenting workshops and lectures in Victoria, Tasmania, NSW and Queensland, including a sold-out workshop in Sydney today (7 December).

Last reviewed: 7 December, 2012

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