Dementia advocate Kate Swaffer joins as International Fellow
08 July 2016
Canterbury Christ Church University is pleased to announce that Kate Swaffer, author and activist for dementia, has joined the England Centre for Practice Development as an International Fellow for dementia care.
Kate is Chair, CEO and co-founder of Dementia Alliance International, Chair of Alzheimer’s Australia Dementia Advisory Group, member of the World Dementia Council and Board member of Alzheimer’s Disease International. She is also a PhD student and Honorary Associate Fellow with the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health at the University of Wollongong.
In partnership with Kate, the Centre hopes to highlight the importance of living beyond dementia, looking at best practice in dementia care around the world.
Carrie Jackson, Director of the England Centre for Practice Development, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Kate to highlight the importance of enabling communities to live well with dementia and in challenging some of the misconceptions that are prevalent in modern society.
“We are committed to working with experts globally to improve research, innovation and practice developments that help to provide for the needs of our communities, develop person centered services tailored to what matters to people, and create compassionate practitioners who are able to support and understand the changing context of dementia care for the future. Kate is a highly respected figurehead and role model.”
Last year, Kate was honoured to receive a number of awards for her work. She was a state finalist in the Australian of the Year Awards for 2016, a winner of the 2015 National Disability Award as Emerging Leader in Disability Awareness, a winner of the 2015 Bethanie Education Medallion, and also the Dementia Leader for 2015 in the University of Stirling International Dementia Awards.
Kate said: “It is important we change the post diagnosistic experience for people with dementia away from the current Prescribed Disengagement®. Telling us to go home and get ready to die, rather than telling us we can live with dementia, and to ‘fight for our lives’ as we would be told with any other terminal illnesses, even those without a cure, is not only unpalatable, it is unethical. One of my many goals is to change that.”
Kate, who is from Adelaide, Australia, has recently published a book titled ‘What the hell happened to my brain?: Living beyond dementia’, in which she talks about her experiences of being diagnosed with younger onset dementia at the age of 49, and challenges the misconceptions about dementia and calls for change in how society ensures a better quality of life for those living with dementia.