Helping prisoners with dementia
By Joanne Brooke, 2019
Identifying and supporting prisoners with dementia from culturally diverse backgrounds
Developing culturally-sensitive support for prisoners living with dementia
I am Professor of Nursing, Director of the Centre of Social Care, Health and Related Research at Birmingham City University and Director of the International Dementia and Culture Collaborative. My research focuses on how to support and empower people with dementia to live autonomously and independently. In 2016 I became aware of our ageing prison population, and older people with dementia in prison, and began to explore how and if these prisoners received appropriate diagnosis, treatment and support.
I was fortunate in 2018 to be awarded a Churchill Fellowship, which supported my travels to New Zealand, Australia and the USA to explore how prisoners with dementia are supported in the different penal systems of these countries. The knowledge gained on this trip has been invaluable, and although some of the practices would not be possible here in the UK, the underlying ethos of these alternative approaches can influence our practices.
The knowledge gained through my Fellowship has also led to the publication of a book entitled Dementia in Prison, to support and challenge current perceptions and inform new and innovative practices.
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