Almost 200 hospice colleagues, local health care professionals and people with an interest in dementia gathered at a sold out seminar hosted by Hospices North East to hear Teepa Snow, a world leading educator on dementia.
Healthcare professionals from across the region heard Teepa speak about dementia at the end of life, communicating with patients with dementia and dealing with distress using empathy and support at this one-off seminar.
The event was held at Northumbria University and was organised by Hospices North East, a collaborative of nine North East independent hospices. Dementia affects 35,000 people in the North East of England according to Dementia UK.
Teepa is an American dementia-care education specialist with a background in occupational therapy and over 30 years in clinical practice. She has worked in a variety of settings and now educates people all over the world in her ‘Positive Approach to Care’. She said:
“There is a huge awareness, knowledge and skill gap for the lay public, families, and professionals who are supposed to offer support to promote wellbeing and a decent quality of life until life is over, when it comes to dementia. One reason I offered to come up to the North East and speak, is that I want to do whatever I can to expand what is known and improve what is done when providing care for someone living with dementia. Working with Hospices North East was the ideal opportunity to do that.
“I had an amazing morning, the room was jam-packed and everyone was so enthusiastic and engaged. People said that we’d changed their lives, their thinking and the way they see and hear people with dementia and I’ve influenced what they are going to do now. You can’t ask for any more that that!”
Angela Egdell, Director of Care at St Oswald’s Hospice and Hospices North East Care Group Chair said:
“We were absolutely thrilled to welcome Teepa to the North East, we had a fantastic morning filled with laughter and tears and she blew us all away. She’s such an inspiration and she has shown us how caring for someone with dementia in the way they want to be cared for is a real art and there’s so much more we can all do.
“With almost 35,000 people in the North East now living with dementia Hospices North East are acknowledging the importance of providing a specialist dementia care and support service, with four of our nine hospices now having an Admiral Nurse. Offering training on this subject and enabling hospice colleagues to hear Teepa’s practical ways to provide care and support will only help to improve the care we all provide.”
Sharron Tolman, Consultant Admiral Nurse, Dementia UK said:
“We are truly grateful to Teepa for leading an amazing seminar for Hospices North East, which Dementia UK were thrilled to be part of. Our hospice Admiral Nurses are working to improve care as dementia progresses including at end of life and Teepa’s thought provoking ideas and techniques aim to make care experiences less distressing for the person and their carer.”