This week’s guests are passionate about improving life for people living with dementia, particularly through the education and training of those who support and care for them.

One is an expert by experience – 13 years’ experience, having been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2010, aged just 55 and forced to retire after 33 years in teaching, latterly as a headteacher. The other is an academic who’s attracted global recognition for her research and leadership in dementia education and training for the health and social care workforce. So you can see that a strong common theme here, quite apart from dementia, is education and training.

Claire Surr is Professor of Dementia Studies and Director of the Centre for Dementia Research at Leeds Beckett University.
While Dr Keith Oliver’s roles and work within the dementia sector include writing (or co-writing) four books on dementia since being diagnosed, being an Alzheimer’s Society Ambassador, a Kent and Medway NHS Trust Dementia Envoy, a member of the 3 Nations Dementia Working Group and a founder member of the Young Dementia Network. The definition of young onset dementia is when it affects someone under the age of 65.

Keith is often to be seen and heard on television and radio and at national and international conferences. He regularly contributes to newspapers, magazines, and professional publications from the BMJ to Age UK He uses his energy, drive and skills to promote public awareness and understanding of the condition with which he lives day in and day out. And he recently contributed to an Open University Publication entitled Education and Training in Dementia Care – a Person-Centred Approach, co-authored by his fellow guest, Professor Surr.

Forming part of the Reconsidering Dementia series, the book is a deep dive into the complexities of this once neglected subject. And like all the other books in the series, as well as being scholarly, it spells out what the theories actually mean for those at the sharp end, such as people living with dementia, their families, those working in dementia care, policy-makers and professionals.

Claire Surr’s career has centred on the delivery of truly person-centred care for the 70 to 80pc of care home residents who live with dementia, with a specific interest in supporting care home staff in their roles and methods, and evaluating their impact. Most recently Claire has been involved in researching cancer care for people with dementia.

Education and Training in Dementia Care is available from Amazon and other outlets.