Dementia: Author biographies

Professor June Andrews

Professor June Andrews is Director of the Dementia Services Development Centre at the University of Stirling. June is a psychiatric and general trained nurse and has worked in government, the NHS, and the Royal College of Nursing. June leads the DSDC which has provided education and information for service improvement in dementia care since 1989, with distance learning students throughout the UK and beyond.

Section editor: Dementia-friendly environments and Working in partnership with carers

Ruth Bartlett

Dr Ruth Bartlett is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton. With a background in mental health nursing and a doctorate in health sociology, Ruth’s current research interests are in activism, collective identity, younger people with dementia and participatory research methods. She has published on the topic of dementia activism and has written a book and journal article about citizenship co-authored with Deborah O’Connor.

Section editor: Early onset dementia

Professor Dawn Brooker

Professor Dawn Brooker is Director of the University of Worcester Association for Dementia Studies. Dawn is a clinical psychologist who has worked in a variety of clinical, academic and managerial posts in services for older people for over twenty-five years. In 2009 she established the University of Worcester Association for Dementia Studies to provide education, training, research and evaluation for those involved in providing care and support to people with dementia and their families.

Section editor: Communicating well

Gwen Coleman

Gwen is a Registered Dietitian and Dementia Specialist for Anchor; providing advice, support and training for Anchor’s care and housing services. Gwen developed her interest and speciality in diet, nutrition and dementia during the 8 years she worked with Alzheimer’s Society. She managed the Department of Health funded research based ‘Food for thought’ project for the Society and wrote a series of nutrition related practice and catering guides; as well producing resources for carers and people with dementia. During this time Gwen also developed and delivered diet, nutrition and dementia training for health and social care services. Gwen continues to develop her knowledge and remains actively involved in this field.

Section editor: Eating well for people with dementia

Colm Cunningham

At the time of contributing to the SCIE Dementia Gateway, Colm Cunningham was working as Director of Operations for the Dementia Service Development Centre, University of Stirling, where he had worked since 2004. Colm left Stirling DSDC in November 2010 to work as the Director of The Dementia Centre in Sydney, a HammondCare research and development centre.

Section editor: Dementia-friendly environments

Emma Ferguson-Coleman

Emma is an Alzheimer’s Society Doctoral Research Fellow and a research assistant with Social Research with Deaf People at the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, University of Manchester, UK. She was a research assistant on the Deaf with Dementia Project (funded by the Alzheimer’s Society) which ran from 2010–2013. Her current PhD work focuses on the lived experience of Deaf sign language users living with dementia and their families.

Author: Dementia and sensory loss

Karen Harrison Dening

Karen Harrison Dening is Head of Admiral Nursing with Dementia UK. She works closely with the National Council for Palliative Care to provide expertise to their work on dementia care and is associated with the Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Unit. Karen has worked in dementia care for over 30 years and is nearing completion of doctorate studies in advance care planning in dementia at University College London.

Section editor: End of life care for people with dementia

Sue Heiser

Sue Heiser retired in 2011 as Head of Residential Services in the London borough of Camden, responsible for four care homes.  A qualified social worker, she specialised in dementia care from 1993, leading a local authority specialist team which helped develop services, improve practice and change attitudes.  She worked extensively alongside staff in care homes and domiciliary services, training, mentoring and supervising staff as well as running information courses for family carers.  She spent two years as a commissioner for services for younger people.  Sue remains involved in the dementia field as a volunteer and free-lance consultant

Section author: Working in partnership with carers

Agnes Houston

Agnes Houston was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2006. She was the practice manager of a chiropractic practice until her diagnosis. Since her diagnosis, she has begun to develop her creative side, attending an art group, and she keeps fit at the gym and practises meditation. As an active member of the Scottish Dementia Working Group, Agnes campaigns on many issues including better dementia training for nurses and raising awareness of visual difficulties commonly experienced by people with dementia. She has spoken at a number of conferences and training events in the UK and at the Alzheimer Europe conference in Oslo. She has had articles published in journals and newspapers, given radio interviews and appeared in several training DVDs. Agnes has reviewed and commented on this section of the SCIE Dementia Gateway in light of her experience of living with dementia.

Section reviewer: Young onset dementia

Sally Knocker

Sally Knocker is the Head of Tailored Training and Consultancy Services with the Dementia Care Matters consultancy. Before this Sally was the Director of Communications for National Association for Providers of Activities for Older People (NAPA), and a freelance trainer and writer in older people’s care. Sally wrote and edited the Alzheimer’s Society Book of Activities (2002) Age Concern England’s ‘The Whole of Me’ (2006) and Counsel and Care’s ‘Not Only Bingo’ (2007). Sally has worked with people with dementia and their families for over 25 years.

Section editor: Keeping active and occupied

Janet Lallysmith

Janet Lallysmith began working in the field of health and social care over 20 years ago. Her main work experience is in adult mental health, particularly crisis work. She now works with Buz Loveday as an associate of DementiaTrainers. She is a qualified dementia care mapper and provides training across a range of topics in dementia care.

Section author: Antipsychotic medication and dementia and Alternatives to antipsychotic medication

Buz Loveday

Buz Loveday is the director and lead trainer of DementiaTrainers, a small team of specialist trainers with a mission to improve dementia care.  Since 1991 she and her team have devised and delivered tailor-made training to thousands of staff in a wide range of statutory, private and voluntary sector organisations, from small local care providers to national organisations such as the NHS, the Alzheimer’s Society and the Commission for Social Care Inspection (now CQC).  Buz’s training courses include accredited programmes in dementia care leadership and dementia care training skills. Buz is the author of ‘Leadership for person-centred dementia care’ (Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2012) and was co-author, with Tom Kitwood, of the training manual ‘Improving dementia care’. She is also the co-author of SCIE’s e-learning resource, the Open Dementia programme.

Section editor: Difficult situations

Steve Milton and Nada Savitch

Steve Milton and Nada Savitch are directors of a community interest company called Innovations in Dementia. Both have many years of experience in producing accessible information for people with dementia. Both Steve and Nada work collaboratively with people with dementia in all their work. At Innovations in Dementia they work with a group of people with dementia called ThinkTank. Innovations in Dementia ThinkTank members advise and support them in all their work. ThinkTank has been at the heart of this work. Producing this section of the Dementia Gateway collaboratively with people with dementia has enabled the experiences and feelings of people with dementia to be central to advice offered about dementia care.

Section editors: Getting to know the person with dementia

Jennifer Roberts

Professor Jennifer Roberts was the dementia lead for the United Kingdom Home Care Association (UKHCA). She had specialised in dementia and home care for over 20 years. Jennifer’s work in the field of dementia included producing key reports on improving domiciliary care and improving post-diagnostic support services for people with dementia. She developed and delivered innovative training resources and workshops for UKHCA across the UK, and wrote about dementia for the UKHCA’s Home Carer publication. Jennifer also edited practical carer guides and study guides for Dementia Services Development Centre and developed an external training initiative for Alzheimer Scotland. Jennifer had her own businesses – Caring for Your Business – which specialised in offering advice and support to care businesses and Dementia Timeout providing supported breaks for people with dementia. Jennifer died in November 2013.

Section editor: About dementia, Early signs and diagnosis, Support following diagnosis.
Section author: Communicating well

Sharon Scott

Sharon Scott trained as a registered general nurse. Over the past 17 years she has concentrated her clinical work and academic study in the field of specialist palliative care and has gained experience both in the UK and overseas. Sharon was instrumental in developing a palliative care service for people with advanced dementia and their carers at St Christopher’s Hospice in London. She is now a Dementia Palliative Care Research Nurse for Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Unit, University College London.

Section editor: End of life care for people with dementia

David Thompson

At the time of contributing to the SCIE Dementia Gateway, Dr David Thompson was a Senior Practice Development Manager at the Social Care Institute for Excellence with responsibility for work on mental capacity. He brought wide experience of direct work, practice development, research and teaching, mainly involving people with learning disabilities. He no longer works at SCIE.
Section editor: Making decisions

Catherine Ross

Catherine Ross was the editor of the Journal of Dementia Care (2012-14), and from 2005-12 its deputy editor. She has also been the editor of NAPA’s Living Life magazine (2012-14) and editorial advisor for the Australian Journal of Dementia Care (2012-14).

Rebecca Sheehey

Rebecca is the Older People’s Impact Team Manager with the Royal National Institute of Blind People.

Author: Dementia and sensory loss: Sight loss  

Chris Wood

Chris is a Senior Research and Policy Officer with Action on Hearing Loss.

Author: Dementia and sensory loss: Hearing loss

Jan Sheldon

Jan is Chief Executive of the Royal Association for Deaf people (RAD).

Contributing author: Dementia and sensory loss: Deafness

Heather Waterman

Heather is Professor of Nursing and Ophthalmology at the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, University of Manchester, UK. She leads an ophthalmology nursing research team with special interest in adherence and glaucoma. She also has a long-standing interest in a participatory research methodologies including action research. Her research portfolio consists of numerous academic and professional publications and she has been either lead or collaborator on externally funded grants. She is a fellow of the European Academy of Nursing Science (EANS).

Author: Dementia and sensory loss

Nicola Venus-Balgobin

Nicola is Project Manager for the Older People with dual sensory loss awareness raising programme at SENSE.

Author: Dementia and sensory loss: Deafblindness

Alys Young

Alys is Professor of Social Work and Director of SORD (social research with Deaf people), University of Manchester, UK. She is also visiting professor at the Centre for Deaf Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. She has published extensively on services and organisational research involving Deaf children and Deaf adults. She led the Alzheimer’s Society-funded Deaf with Dementia project and is a co-applicant on the ESRC/NIHR-funded Dementia Neighbourhoods multi-site research programme.

Author: Dementia and sensory loss