It is with great pleasure that I can announce that Prof Carl Lygo and Prof Peter Crisp have given me permission to host four free public lectures on dementia at the BPP Law School, London.
I am indebted to Joerg Plechinger who kindly took this picture of me giving a talk at the recent Alzheimer’s Disease International conference in Perth, Western Australia; the conference took as its theme, “Cure, care and lived experience”.
Dementia is important.
“Dementia” constitutes a large number of conditions. Most people mean dementia to mean an abnormal process affecting the brain, which leads the brain to becoming smaller, affecting any of the brain’s functions, say from planning and working memory to complex visual perception. There are 1000 billion billion nerve cells in the human brain, by and large linked to one another in some direct or indirect way, and that’s why fathoming out dementia, and the effect it has on persons, communities and societies, difficult. Despite decades of trying, and numerous failed attempts, there is currently no cure for the progressive dementias, and resources are allocated in the most part to offering drugs which do not slow down the progression of disease, but have a limited time window in efficacy on symptoms if at all. A much better approach, and this is generally cost effective for us as a society, as well as being a morally valid option, is to encourage and implement a culture of living better with dementia, to benefit people living with dementia and their ‘substantial others’ as other people have called them. I myself have written two very influential books on quality of life in dementia, read by a very wide range of people including those who’ve received a diagnosis of a dementia themselves, caregivers, professionals (including doctors, nurses and allied health professionals), and commissioners. The books are: “Living Well with Dementia: The Importance of the Person and the Environment for Wellbeing” (published in February 2014 by Radcliffe Health) and “Living Better with Dementia: Good Practice and Innovation for the Future” (due to be published in July 2015, by JKP Books). Prof John Hodges, one of the world’s most leading authorities on the semantic variant spectrum dementia conditions, described my book at the time thus in his Foreword:
“Amazing … A truly unique and multi-faceted contribution. The whole book is infused with passion and the desire to make a difference to those living with dementia. A fantastic resource and user guide covering topics such as communication and living well with dementia, home and ward design, assisted technology, and built environments. Shibley should be congratulated for this unique synthesis of ideas and practice.”
BPP Law School is a United Kingdom-based provider of professional and academic legal education and is one of the largest in the country (approximately one third of all entrants to the English legal profession are educated by BPP Law School). I will be hosting these four lectures in the BPP Law School, Holborn. This school is where many students are pursuing the ‘Legal Practice Course’, the bridge between the academic world and professional life in a solicitors law firm, and the ‘Bar Professional Training Course’, the course designed to ensure that students intending to become barristers acquire the skills, knowledge of procedure and evidence, attitudes and competence to prepare them, in particular, for the more specialised training in the twelve months of pupillage. The law school is actually a stone’s throw away from the Royal Courts of Justice, one of the largest and most outstanding buildings in the Strand where you can see the country’s leading lawyers including Silks in action. Tickets for my events will be allocated on a first come first served basis through EventBrite, and will be advertised on Twitter (@legalaware and @dementia_vision). The topics of the lectures are as follows.
I also intend, following a smart idea by Prof Carl Lygo, to record podcasts to boost outreach on a number of diverse topics in dementia; this might include, for example, important topics such as culture diversity, case finding and screening, Big Data and pharma, and so on.