Positive About Dementia (POSADEM): A pan-European Erasmus project to develop a multi-disciplinary Masters programme in Dementia
Start date: 31 October 2016
The project was developed in response to the pan-European challenge of dementia, and the striking disparities between, and even within member states, in terms of staff education and qualifications. Posadem is an EU multi-lateral project that aims to educate and develop an effective and informed dementia workforce through an interdisciplinary Masters programme. Current partners are based in Austria, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Begun in September 2013 and seeing person-centredness as core (Kitwood 1997), the programme takes an appreciative view of the experience of people living with dementia and those who live with and care for them, with an emphasis on how to support a person’s abilities rather than focus on any loss of capacity (Swaffer 2015). In recognition of this people with dementia travelled to and were directly assisted in project development meetings. Along with detailed analysis of policy and research literature, we have undertaken three phases of interviews and focus groups with and extensive network people with dementia and their families, and with stakeholders in health and social care, charities and professional organizations.. These data have informed the development of three core Modules: ‘Living with Dementia: Personal Perspectives’; ‘Living with Dementia: Societal Perspectives’ and ‘Living with Dementia: Leadership and Innovation’. Although content can be delivered by classroom methods, the modules are designed to be available on line through any of the common Virtual Learning Environments and will be provided by universities in concert with their wider provision. We aim to provide useful but more basic introductory content openly on line via a Modular Open On-Line Course (MOOC).
Crucially each module takes a pan-European, interdisciplinary approach. A particularly innovative aspect of the programme is that each module assessment will include dissemination and integration of learning into practice in services used by people living with dementia and their carers/families, to promote an optimal impact in society. We will report on our recently completed pilot study undertaken with a group of professionals and volunteers working with people with dementia across Europe and on plans to develop dementia inclusive education internationally.