Students at the University of Warwick show benefits of social prescribing for dementia
Students at the University of Warwick are leading social prescribing research for dementia, highlighting the benefits of this innovative approach during Dementia Action Week.
The ground-breaking dementia café project, led by students from Warwick Medical School, is a shining example of the power of social prescribing in dementia care. By regularly connecting people with dementia to community activities, groups, and services, the project aims to meet practical, social, and emotional needs of people living with dementia while improving their overall health and well-being.
Social prescribing is a holistic approach that recognizes the complex needs of individuals with dementia and seeks to address them in a coordinated, non-clinical and person-centred way. It is an increasingly popular way to support individuals with dementia and reduces pressure on healthcare systems and carers, while improving quality of life and helping with memory loss and other symptoms.
Following a successful pilot, the dementia café now opens its doors every Wednesday in Leamington.
The project is led by a team of University of Warwick medical students, Rebecca Briggs and Lucas Snow, in collaboration with their Director of Medical Studies, Dr Kate Owen. The team’s research explores the potential of social prescribing within medicine to determine the benefits it can bring to both individuals and the community.
Medical student Rebecca Briggs, one of the project leads, added: "We are thrilled to be leading this project, and we hope to inspire others to explore the potential of social prescribing within medicine. By working together, we can make a real difference to the lives of those affected by dementia.
Dr Kate Owen commented: "Social prescribing has the potential to make a real difference dementia care. By connecting individuals with dementia and their carers to their communities, we can support them, improving their overall quality of life.
“The non-clinical approach helps address some of the practical needs of individuals with dementia by connecting them to services such as meal delivery, transport and home support. This can alleviate pressure on carers, allowing people with dementia to remain in their own homes for longer.”
The dementia café project is a shining example of the University of Warwick's commitment to student-led initiatives that promote the health and well-being of local communities.
To find out more, go to https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/med/study/ugr/student_engagement_achievement/achievements/inthecommunity/dementiacafe/