International conference for dementia expert

A University of Plymouth dementia expert has appeared at an international conference to share best practice in helping people with the condition.

Ian Sherriff, Academic Partnership Lead for Dementia, appeared via video link at the dementia-friendly symposium in Japan to showcase Plymouth’s city-wide initiatives designed to support people with dementia and their families. 

The conference was screened live to around 1,000 people on screens in Osaka and Tokyo. 

Ian chairs the Plymouth Dementia Action Alliance, and described how the University and companies including CityBus, BBC and Plymouth City Council have all put initiatives in place to help make life easier for those with the condition.

For example, the local BBC supplements weather reports with practical information (it’s raining, you may need to take a coat) and CityBus trains all of its drivers in recognising and supporting people with dementia. 

As a result of the two-day event, Ian met with Dr Kentaro Horibe and Yumi Shindo from the National Centre for Geriatrics and Gerontology in Japan to further discuss helping people with dementia in the country’s rural communities. 

Ian said: 

“It was a really wonderful experience to talk to so many people about the work going on here in Plymouth. It’s the next step in an already great relationship with the Japanese community, who are keen to learn how to support people with dementia and their families. We agreed to work together on sharing information and good practice, and will soon start to work up an evaluation and research programme.”

Ian Sherriff, Academic Partnership Lead for Dementia, said:

While we are proud of what we have achieved so far, we are all aware that there is more to do – support from the highest levels and the continued efforts of innovators in the lab, in clinic and in society will help us to tackle this pernicious disease

Read more about Ian Sherriff