Stirling - at the heart of dementia care
Stirling has a number of business delivering high quality innovation and development in the use of digital technology for healthcare. The expertise and graduate talent from the University of Stirling provide a superb base of support to business and product development.
It is in the field of dementia care however that Stirling has a truly world class offering.
Based at the University of Stirling there is a Dementia Services Development Centre which is an international centre of knowledge and expertise dedicated to improving the lives of people with dementia.
For over 25 years the centre has worked with individuals and organisations to improve the design of care environments, to make communities dementia friendly and to influence policy and improve services for people with dementia. It works across the Eight Domains (ideas, education, design, housing, creativity, change, communities, information and ideas) which make a positive difference to people with dementia and their carers.
DSDC has a design and technology suite which showcases inspiring technology and equipment which make a real difference to the day-to-day lives of people with dementia and their carers. The suite is a permanent display of interior rooms and equipment and garden spaces, which showcases how they can be adapted to support the particular spatial and sensory needs of people with dementia.
It has two programmes for supporting innovation: the Ideas Lab and the Innovation Wall. The latter is a publically accessible online portal where anyone can post their ideas, which will be assessed by advisory group and the best ideas are put forward into the annual celebration event.
The DSDC provides an ideal location for companies to trial products before rolling them out to the wider market. As an example, Wharrams Healthcare Interiors, located in Hull, have developed a chair designed specifically to meet the needs of those with dementia, which was delivered to the DSDC Technology Suite in 2012. Companies that are located in the Stirling area would have closer access to the Centre, which would allow them to trial their products easier within a centre of excellence before putting them to the market and to regularly tap in to the world renowned expertise on site.
DSDC also runs a range of training courses. Its 5 flagship courses are: leadership and management in dementia care: aspiring to excellence; assessment of memory; best practice; design school; and specialised training programmes, the Centre is bolstering a highly skilled workforce in the area.
Tied to the DSDC, the University of Stirling offers several postgraduate courses in dementia studies (in addition to the DSDC training courses), therefore ensuring a highly-skilled, qualified workforce in the area.