QMU on course to become a Dementia Aware University

By Press Office

Queen Margaret University (QMU) signed a strategic partnership agreement with Alzheimer’s Scotland in 2015 that will see it recognised as a dementia aware university.

As part of this agreement, QMU’s new Centre for Person-Centred Practice Research, which includes nurses and allied health professions practitioners, will act as a focus for much of the work aiming to improve the lives of people affected by dementia, and the university has launched a programme of actions and activities to introduce more accessible approaches in teaching, research, campus buildings and services.

Through the local Alzheimer Scotland Dementia Advisor, QMU staff along with nursing and allied health professions students will become Dementia Friends.

Students can expect to learn more about dementia, how to assist people affected by dementia (and their carers) POand have the opportunity to volunteer in local services.

Professor Jan Dewing, the Sue Pembrey Chair in Nursing and research centre director at QMU, said; “We began with a coffee morning for all university staff to talk about dementia and share their experiences. There was a far bigger turnout than expected, reflecting the fact that today dementia touches so many people’s lives. We also reviewed how we teach students about dementia and found it could be improved.”

“It is our duty as a university to ensure we are as inclusive as we can be and that applies to people affected by dementia. We can do this by changing the way we make use of campus facilities to benefit the community and make learning more accessible, and by contributing to creating a more dementia-aware local community. According to Alzheimer’s Society, one person in the UK will develop dementia every three minutes this year. That’s something we can’t ignore.”

An internationally recognised expert in dementia care, Professor Dewing has committed to spending a number of hours in clinical practice by volunteering as a member of the Dementia Friendly Musselburgh action group and at the Dementia Cafe.

There are 850,000 people with dementia in the UK, with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. This will rise to 2 million by 2051. An estimated 90,000 people have dementia in Scotland in 2016. Around 3,200 of these people are under the age of 65. Symptoms of dementia include memory loss, confusion and problems with speech and understanding. Dementia also currently affects 40,000 people in the UK who are under 65.

Notes to Editor

For further information contact Maggie Wright on 0131 226 3622 / 07801 710360 maggie.wright@mwa.co

  • The School of Health Sciences at QMU provides the largest range of professional healthcare courses in Scotland comprising:

Art Psychotherapy


Music Therapy

Occupational Therapy



Radiography (diagnostic and therapeutic)

Speech and Language Therapy

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