Scotland’s Dementia Awards 2015

Huge congratulations are due to one of our MSc. in Later Studies Students.  Take a bow Gabriela Mitas !!!! Gabriela, who is in her second year, works for Alzheimers’ Scotland as a Community Activity Organiser and as part of her role she helps to organise Lanarkshire’s Mosque and Muslim Community Project. This project helps to challenge and reduce the stigma around dementia within that community and acts to prevent the marginalisation that Muslims, particularly women Muslim carers, can feel when dealing with their relatives who are living with dementia in our society. Fantastic work and I know that myself and my colleagues are keen to find out more. Here is Gabriela shortly after receiving her award for “Best Dementia Friendly Community Initiative” yesterday.


The ‘Dementia Champions’ teaching team at UWS were also put forward for the Best Acute Care Initiative. We (because it includes me) were runners up. Disappointed not to win of course, but as a team we were glad to get some recognition for all the work that we have put in to the programme since it began in 2011.

As part of wining a short film about Gabriela’s work will be made available on the Awards website. Once that is made visible I’ll put the link up here so you can all see the great work she has been doing.

World Alzheimer’s Day was on the 21st of September and to mark the event why not become a Dementia Friend and help tackle the stigma associated with dementia in a small but positive way. Go to  There you can register your interest.

Nearly two thirds of people with dementia experience loneliness and almost half report losing friends after their diagnosis. A global survey of 2,500 people with dementia and carers across 50 countries found that stigma is a major barrier to improving care and support for people with the condition.

So We Begin…

Welcome to all our new Older Peoples’ Health and Well-being students here at UWS who will all commence in their new modules this week. If this is your first visit to the Blog then please read the first entry, which explains why it is here.

So this week, what’s in the news. UK Older People’s Day is on 1st October every year to coincide with the UN International Day of Older Persons; so it is coming up very soon. The main aim for the day is for this date to be a celebration of the achievements and contributions that older people make to our society and the economy. Older People’s Day supports the campaign to challenge negative attitudes and outdated stereotypes, See: and if you can, join their Facebook page and get along to an event (or even host your own).

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The UN page is at

The theme for this year is Sustainability and Age Inclusiveness in the Urban Environment.

Coinciding with this date the  4th. Luminate Festival begins across Scotland and continues until the 31st. of October.  Luminate is Scotland’s creative ageing festival bringing older people and people from across the generations together across Scotland to celebrate our creativity as we age, share stories of ageing and explore what growing older means to all of us. There are a number of events across Scotland details of which you can find at There are a number of Luminate Photography Competition: Pop-up Exhibition staking place across Glasgow and Lanarkshire that would be interesting to get to.

Finally wish the team luck. Next Thursday, the 24 September, we are going along to Scotland’s Dementia Awards 2015 hoping to get our success recognised. See:

Welcome to my new improved blog space

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Those of you who have studied Older People’s Issues before will know that I usually run a Blog throughout the course of my modules in order to share and comment on current issues in older people’s care that the module materials may not capture. The Blog also allows you, as students to participate in co-producing your own learning, because you can comment and contribute to this blog at any time. In fact it would be really good if you would do this, so that we can share all of our views. Previously I was using a format that was only able to be viewed within the University of the West of Scotland. It is worth noting that this time I am using a Blogging tool called WordPress that is open access and this is posted across 4 different modules, so there are lots of potential contributors.

So where will I start. In the headlines this week you might have seen:

“Can you Catch Alzheimers’ Disease? Could it be spread via blood transfusions during surgery in the same way as CJD!” (from the Daily Mail 09/09/2015)

 So is there any truth in this?
When I see headlines like this, I tend to have a look at a really brilliant NHS Choices site called ‘Behind the Headlines’. What this group of people do is look for the piece of research that the headline story relates to and critique it. So they did this for this study. If you want to see or find out where the original research was published and what they said about it than go to
Its worth remembering that this site is here because they do a really good job of explaining complex research in a way that will help you understand what that research really does show. It also helps you develop better evaluation skills if you look regularly.