Washington graduate Emma's research helping dementia sufferers

A Pharmacy graduate from Washington is hoping that her research will help boost better care for dementia sufferers.

By Debbie Mitchie
Monday, 24 June, 2019, 20:09
Emma Baxter, who has been carrying out research into dementia care.

Research carried out by Emma Boxer, 24, who studied at the University of Sunderland, shows that training health care students at undergraduate level and incorporating Dementia Friends’ information sessions as part of that training, would increase their knowledge of the condition and lead to a better understanding of how to treat sufferers.

Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme is the biggest ever initiative to change people’s perceptions of dementia. It aims to transform the way the nation thinks, acts and talks about the condition.

Emma’s research was prompted after becoming a Dementia Friends’ Champion herself and hosting a series of successful awareness presentations on campus to pharmacy, public health, adult nursing and mental health nursing students.

After the session she asked students to complete a  survey to find out if their knowledge and understanding of dementia had improved and whether they felt it would benefit them  moving into practice.

“The results were certainly enlightening and highlighted a significant increase in students’ knowledge surrounding dementia after the session,” said Emma.

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Emma, who is now an academic pre-registration pharmacist, became a Dementia Friends’ Champion after sitting in on a dementia session in the final year of her course.

Ed Chivers, Regional Dementia Friends Officer for Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We can’t thank Emma enough for the way she has so embraced the Dementia Friends initiative.

“We rely heavily on people like her to spread the word about how dementia affects people, and the small changes we can all make to improve the wellbeing of those living with the condition.”

Emma believes more research is needed to asses the impact of the sessions.