Ceremony recognises excellence in dementia care


International Dementia Awards winners are announced

A new standard for the design of environments for the elderly, an arts project reaching out to people in South Asia, and a new memory service were all singled out for praise at the first-ever International Dementia Awards.

Organised by the University of Stirling’s Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) and the Care and Dementia Show, the competition recognised organisations and individuals who have worked to improve the quality of life for people with the disease.

In total, six awards were presented. The winner of the Dementia & The Arts Award was Ramesh Verma and her volunteers from the EKTA project, which raises awareness of dementia among South Asian elders in innovative ways, including a play that was performed across London.

The Dementia Festival Award was won by Scottish filmmaker, Christeen Winford. Her movie, Darkness in the Afternoon, is now recognised as a valuable learning tool to change the way people think about people with dementia.

The title of Dementia Leader of the Year went to Kate Swaffer of Dementia Alliance International, who has younger-onset dementia. Through her blog she is leading the advocacy movement to have people living with dementia fully included in the development of policy and dementia-friendly initiatives.

Orfield laboratories picked up the Design Innovation Award. Its multi-disciplinary architectural and product lab has made the first effort worldwide to develop a perceptual and cognitive standard for people over the age of 90 that can be used to design aging environments.

The Housing & Dementia Award went to The Guinness Partnership, which has set out to support approximately 1,000 of its older tenants who are living with dementia, helping them to remain independent and live in their own homes for longer.

The last gong – the Service Innovation Team Award – was won by The Western Health Trust based in Northern Ireland. Its memory service aims to detect and assess dementia at the earliest-possible stage, make treatment recommendations, and provide information and support to patients and care givers.

The International Dementia Awards were held as a part of the International Dementia Conference, which brought together leading figures from around the globe to learn and share ideas.

Professor June Andrews, director of the DSDC, said: “This is a great way to celebrate what is best in dementia care.

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“People are putting knowledge into practice and really making a difference for individuals, families and communities.”