Stockport therapist’s dementia paper receives national award

Stockport dementia paperA paper about supporting people with dementia, written by a Stockport therapist, has won a national award.

“Life story resources in dementia care: a review” by Jackie Kindell, a Speech and Language Therapist at The Meadows specialist dementia ward, along with colleagues from the University of Manchester was published in the Quality in Ageing and Older Adults journal earlier this academic year.

The paper has now been selected by the journal’s editorial team as the Outstanding Paper in the 2015 Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence.

Jackie, who works for Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, based much of the paper on the life story work that the speech and language therapy team have been doing with people with dementia over a number of years at The Meadows. 

Life story work involves finding out about the unique personal history of the patient and their individual character.

Creatively using this information can help in the recall of memories, within interaction and in the delivery of care. 

Jackie hopes by focusing on goal-setting with patients and taking an individual approach to life-story work, staff can improve standards of care for people with dementia.

This work is part of her current PhD studies at the University of Manchester, where she is supported by Professor John Keady and Simon Burrow from the university’s Dementia and Ageing Research Team, and Professor Ray Wilkinson at Sheffield University.  

Jackie said: “The aim was to focus on why we might do life story work with people with dementia and to be more explicit in our goals for this work, therefore individualising our outcomes to the needs of the person with dementia and their carers.

“I’m delighted our paper has been recognised in this way and I hope the paper will help others across the country to improve the quality of care provided for people with dementia and their carers.”

John added: “Life story work provides an essential link between the person living with dementia and those involved in helping to support that person.  What this review paper shows is the progress that has been made but the opportunities that exist to add a sensory and embodied component in developing and shaping a life story. Life is not experienced through words alone.”

Jackie and the co-authors will receive a certificate to celebrate their success.

Pennine Care provides specialist dementia services, including inpatient wards and community support, to people across the Stockport borough. Find out more at www.penninecare.nhs.uk.