Professor Moniz-Cook’s work to counteract fear and stigma associated with dementia began with establishing an NHS multidisciplinary primary care collaborative memory clinic for older people (1991); later extending to a social care drop-In memory innovation which received the BUPA care prize (2004).
A King’s Fund/Department of Health – Dementia Care Environments award ‘Enhancing post-diagnostic recovery in older people with dementia and their families at a Memory Clinic’ stimulated an arts-based programme co-produced by families attending the clinic and NHS staff (2010). This worked towards neutralising stigma at the time of diagnosis through a transformed built environment of the Hull Memory Clinic from its previous ‘hospital look’ to an open plan welcoming space where people could participate or contribute to planning creative social activities. Learnings taken forward by a family now underpin some of the work of a charity, Butterflies, which collaborates with dementia projects at the University of Hull.
Professor Moniz-Cook said: “Through developing the Hull Memory Clinic in collaboration with GPs, we were able to counteract stigma, manage fear and better support families.”
The clinic alleviated family burden and reduced breakdown of care at home. Working with families and staff in care homes, Professor Moniz-Cook and colleagues successfully used individualised formulated psychosocial and communication strategies to address health and psychosocial needs and thus reduce distress in people with dementia.
Professor Moniz-Cook said: “Our work over three decades in Hull showed us that good person centred care was achieved through psychologically informed ‘memory experts’ in dementia care engaging with and maintaining relationships with families and care home staff. This often required experts to conduct brief 6 -12 month checks on the health and wellbeing of the person with dementia as well as on the needs of those providing support.
“The double effects of ageism and stigma continue to undermine timely support in dementia care, despite our knowledge on what psychosocial care works for many people with dementia and their supporters. People with dementia are all too often discharged from specialist memory services, only to emerge when they or their families can no longer cope, when care at home often breaks down.
“Practitioners with expertise and their subtle but important ongoing relationships with people affected by dementia and their families are the key to timely psychosocial care. They are essential within the dementia pathway of care.”
Career highlights for Professor Moniz-Cook are detailed below:
* Working with networks of practitioners and researchers in the Yorkshire region, nationally and internationally, over three decades Professor Moniz-Cook has led or collaborated on several national and international dementia care applied research programmes such as on social inclusion, rehabilitation, personalised ‘behavior support’ care and asset-based approaches to intervention and outcome measurement.
* Working with people, families, care staff and communities across trajectory of dementia care in Hull, Professor Moniz-Cook was awarded the NHS England Leadership Academy: Quality Champion/Innovator of the Year (2014) Watch here.
* Founder chair of the prestigious clinical academic international group INTERDEM with an EU award (1997-1999) ‘Early Detection and Psychosocial Rehabilitation to Maintain Quality of Life in Dementia’, Professor Moniz-Cook remains active on its Board. This multi-professional international group continues to collaborate on high quality cutting edge applied dementia care research programmes. The organisation hosts more than 240 clinical academic researchers from 23 countries, and an academy of more than 200 PhD and early career researchers.
Professor Moniz-Cook became interested in psychology during her A level years In Kenya. She studied at Leeds University (BSc Hons), at Cardiff (Clinical Psychology), at University of Wales, Bangor (PhD -Dementia) and joined the University of Hull as a Senior Lecturer in 1996.
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