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UEA pledges to become a dementia-friendly university

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The University of East Anglia (UEA) and the UEA Students’ Union are both signing up to the Norwich City Dementia Action Alliance and working towards the aim of a dementia-friendly city.

UEA has 18,000 students and 3,000 staff and undertakes pioneering research into dementia care and diagnosis. UEA and UEA Students’ Union have signed up the Age UK Norwich-hosted Norwich City Dementia Action Alliance during Dementia Awareness Week (14-20 May 2017), supporting  their Dementia Friendly Norwich campaign.

What is dementia?

Dementia refers to an incurable, degenerative group of brain disorders, and the number of people affected by dementia is growing. In the UK, dementia will affect one million people by 2025.

Many of us will live with a failing memory for several years towards the end of our lives.

Families are under pressure to support frail older members in the community

Health and social care services are struggling to meet the challenge of unprecedented numbers of older people living with memory loss.

What is the University doing to help?

UEA (including the Sportspark and Sainsbury Centre) and UEA SU have joined the Norwich City Dementia Action Alliance, a coalition of organisations that are signed up to a dementia action plan. The University’s action plan has four objectives that focus on awareness-raising, supporting staff and students and excellence in teaching and research.

1. To raise awareness of dementia across the University’s communities and to ensure dementia features in our research, teaching, support and activities

2. To have in place appropriate University policies and processes that enable the needs of University staff living with dementia and for staff who are caring for a person with dementia to be taken into account

3. Build on our capacity to undertake research into dementia and encourage the involvement of people with dementia and their carers in our research activities

4. Provide training for our customer-facing staff and students to enable them to offer effective support and communication to people who live with dementia

Vice-Chancellor Prof David Richardson said:  “Our researchers are already engaged in groundbreaking research into dementia and our Schools of Health Sciences and Medicine are training the next generation of healthcare professionals.

“As a University we already play a major role in helping to understand dementia but there is more we can do as part of the wider Norwich community to increase awareness and support. I am delighted that UEA, along with the UEA Students’ Union, has become part of the Norwich City Dementia Action Alliance.”

Jo Swo, Welfare, Community and Diversity Officer at UEA Students’ Union (SU) said: “As an SU dedicated to campaigning for equal access to education we are proud to work with the University to become part of Norwich City Dementia Action Alliance. We believe that educating our students and staff about dementia will help us to become more open and accessible for those with caring responsibilities and the local community.”

Dan Skipper, Chief Operating Officer of Age UK Norwich and campaign lead, said: “We welcome the support of the University of East Anglia and the UEA Students’ Union, who bring a depth of expertise in the field of dementia research and awareness of dementia within the younger generations of the city. Both are household names and we are pleased to have them supporting our aim to make Norwich a dementia friendly city.”

UEA research into dementia

Prof Michael Hornberger
Prof Chris Fox

Video

Prof Michael Hornberger  on  the dementia challenge 

Dementia Friendly Norwich

Find out more about the Norwich City Dementia Action Alliance’s campaign on Facebook