Now that the sheer excitement of my eye retrieval drama has subsided, I am working on a paper to present at our School of Nursing Conference in June. The conference is focusing on pre-registration education and my paper is all about dementia.
Without regurgitating the entirity of my paper here, let me enlighten you with a few statistics...
With around 163,000 new diagnoses being made annually dementia has been described as “one of the greatest challenges for medicine, nursing and society in the twenty-first century”. Dementia predominantly affects the elderly and as the number of people aged over 65 years is expected to increase by more than 60% in the next 25 years, it is not unrealistic to expect the number of dementia diagnoses being made to increase. In fact, while an estimated 700,000 people are currently diagnosed with dementia, this figure is expected to increase to one million by 2025.
That's a lot of people, eh? As we've received absolutely no education on dementia at university, the conclusion for my paper is that they need to provide some! Obviously we need to engage in independent learning, but if such a crucial area of health care is being ignored by lecturers it gives the impression that it isn't very important which belittles those with dementia (it also didn't help that our one lecture on Alzheimer's was cancelled and never rescheduled).
I'll get off my high horse now :)
I'd be interested to know, however, what your education in dementia has been like - send me a post or complete the poll.