Sarah Housden

Sarah Housden

I'm a Senior Lecturer in the School of Health Sciences at the University of East Anglia

Location United Kingdom


  • @RichardHughes Thank you for your ideas and contributions. The insight you bring from your work and from personal experience is very helpful.

  • You make some really helpful points here John. There are much more important things in life than being "factually right" and there are some arguments which just don't need to take place: this is especially so when working with or caring for a person living with dementia.
    Connecting with other people at a feelings level and seeing things from their perspective...

  • Thanks John, Tiffany and Richard for sharing the resources you have found useful. There is a wealth of advice out there and I think it is often a case of trying new approaches out and seeing what fits our personality and communication style, as well as meeting the needs of the particular individual living with dementia.

  • Welcome Tiffany. It's great to have you on the course.

  • Hello John - your work sounds very worthwhile and interesting. I hope this course adds to your wealth of knowledge and experience.

  • Hello Veronika and welcome to the course.

  • Thanks for joining the course Danina. I hope you find it beneficial.

  • Thank you Clare and Tanya for your perceptive and insightful response to this activity.

  • That's true Clare; and these things are not likely to be easy to express, however much in advance they are done.

  • Thank you Rosie for your comment which highlights the diversity of people living with dementia and those around them. You are right. Various terminology gets used in this course, and we are aware that it wont all be appropriate for everyone. Do you have any preferred terminology. I think I just like to call people 'people' most of the time, rather than...

  • Hello Rosie. Thank you for joining us on this course. You are likely to bring valuable insight and experience to the course, from across your working life. I hope the course is useful to you.

  • Welcome Clare, and thank you for contributing.

  • Thanks for contributing Tanya, and welcome to the course.

  • Hello Rosie. Thanks for asking. It's one of those questions which we'd all like to know the answer to, but in fact, never can. Everyone takes an individual journey and the unexpected is to be expected, at times. The questions about 'a year to live' really focusses on whether you would be surprised if a person died within the next 12 months.

  • @SueKeen Hello Sue. I hope you've enjoyed the course.

  • Thanks Melanie - that's spot on.

  • There's lots more on admiral nurses later in the course. You are right in thinking that they are a bit like Macmillan nurses in that they are usually (at least part) funded through charitable sources

  • You make some excellent point Melanie. Thank you.

  • Welcome Amanda. I hope you enjoy the course.

  • These are very useful and straightforward suggestions Melanie. Thanks for contributing them. So often it is small things which make a big difference in what can be quite confusing and complex situations.

  • Thanks for this link Melanie. I'm sure other students will find it useful.

  • Hello Melanie. It sounds like this course will be right up your street. I hope you enjoy both this course and your new post.

  • Welcome Kate. I hope you enjoy the course. It would be great to hear about your project.

  • Welcome Simon. I hope you enjoy the course.

  • Welcome Sigi, and thank you for introducing yourself.
    I look forward to hearing more from you and other participants over the next three weeks. The Discussion Forums can be great for sharing experiences and ideas, so thank you for starting things off like this.

  • Thank you. I am also very interested in Namaste Care, particularly because of the person-centred and multi-sensory aspects of this approach.

  • Thank you to everyone who has introduced themselves so far. The discussion forums on this course are a great way to form a collaborative learning community where we can share ideas with each other and thus improve the overall course experience, so please do keep commenting and sharing!

  • Hello Barry. We will be talking more about 'anticipatory grief' in Week 3. Many people caring for a loved one who is living with dementia describe a 'double bereavement'. Emotional and social support through this experience is vital, although we do all experience such grief differently.

  • Thank you everyone for your insightful and helpful comments. You may find the following chart useful, which draws on the Newcastle Model:

  • Thank you for the range of links and comments which you have provided so far for this activity. Effective communication is absolutely central to providing good care for people living with dementia and their family and friends. Also, communication between professionals is important if care is to be joined-up and holistic.

  • Thank you Mike. It is so important that we don't try to force people living with dementia into our reality, but seek to understand their perspective and to validate the emotions and feelings which arise from their reality.

  • Thanks Linda. Here's a direct link to the SCIE page on communication in advanced dementia:

  • Hello Linda. That will be fine as this exercise is intended for your own reflection. There are likely to be other similar opportunities for personal reflection later in the course.

  • Hello Cathie. This exercise is for your own reflection rather than for sharing with other students. You can go back and look at your notes from reflective exercises like this one as you progress through the course, and add to them if you would like to.

  • Thank you Linda. I would recommend Joyce Simard's book on Namaste Care and the implementation of this approach, where appropriate. Namaste Care is about honouring the person living with dementia at the end of life, and involves a personalised approach to multi-sensory stimulation. You can find out more about the Namaste approach at :...

  • I agree Pauline. Carers can have such a mixture of strong feelings when a loved one moves to a care home, and their continued involvement can be a vital part of their adjustment, as well as to the on-going wellbeing of the person living with dementia.

  • Thank you to everyone who has introduced themselves so far on the course. You have such a variety of personal and professional experience, which I am sure will add to the content of this course through your contributions to, and reflections on, the discussions.
    I will be reading the discussion content on a daily basis and will aim to answer questions where...

  • I like the way the trainee was proactive in identifying her own learning needs and worked with the supervisor to develop the necessary skills.

  • The SET-GO model appears useful, encourages the trainee to reflect and set goals, and offers support in meeting those goals. It is easy to remember and use.

  • I think it can be helpful to involve the people we supervise in setting their goals, so that they are involved in assessing their own proficiency and recognise the need for development. For feedback to be purposeful and effective it has to have meaning for the individual. They need to 'own' the process and their responsibility for self-development.

  • I was interested in Algiraigri's focus on enabling trainee's to make better use of feedback which in the clinical environment is often delivered in the context of many potential distractions.

  • Yes, I feel the same!

  • Hi Martina. I like the situational judgement tests we use in health training where the student has to select the single best answer in response to a scenario - that is, rather than there being only one right answer, they have to identify the best response from a number of possible acceptable responses. This might work well in law, as an alternative to MCQs

  • Heath Sciences
    Our nursing courses are 50% practice based assessments in order to get a balanced mix between knowledge and skills.

  • Experience is extremely important to me, but without reflection on this experience and simultaneous understanding and application of relevant theory, I'm not sure that I learn from experience.

  • Experiential learning - I use this approach as it enables natural differentiation, with each learner bringing to the learning activity their previous knowledge, experience and understanding, and being able develop this.

  • Good experience was at university, undertaking disability simulations as part of my training in occupational therapy. It helped me see the world from other people's point of view.
    Bad learning experiences were at school where I was singled out and made to feel 'different' from other people in my class. This makes me realise that for learning to take place, an...

  • I agree with you Magsie

  • Hi everyone. I am a senior lecturer in health sciences at the University of East Anglia in the UK. I'm particularly interested in understanding more about learning theories and developing confidence in implementing new approaches to teaching and learning.

  • Hi Christina. I'm based in Norwich UK. I worked in post-16 education for several years, alongside being an occupational therapist in private practice. I completed my doctorate two years ago and now work as a senior lecturer in health sciences. There are lots of openings within the UK for health lecturers, especially if you get your PhD! What are you hoping to...

  • Hi Pam. I'm a lecturer in nursing but my background is occupational therapy. I'm particularly interested in improving health and social care for older people, and am currently developing free learning materials on spirituality in later life for care homes.

  • As far as I am ware Jane, it is relatively recent research which has demonstrated a link between MND and FTD. In a simplistic way, I think of it as I do Lewy Body Dementia and Parkinsons - the brain pathology is similar, but how this manifests in terms of symptoms depends on the areas of the brain most affected.

  • Although the scientific terminology is difficult to take in, I had recently become aware of the research into a link between MND/ALS and FTD, and find this area fascinating - largely because of the challenge both clinical syndromes present in terms of management for a person who is likely to be relatively young in experiencing such rapid neurodegeneration.

  • Locally we have cafes where people living with dementia can go with their carers. These are usually run once a week and hold activities for those attending to get involved in. Many people attending these cafes (run by the voluntary sector) say that they don't go out other than to the weekly cafe. The voluntary sector needs to be properly supported to run...

  • I think it's essential that we develop truly dementia friendly communities, so that changes in communication, behaviour and personality will be understood and accommodated by people in shops, the police, any public-facing employee...
    The dementia friends scheme seems to be a useful start in raising awareness, although so much more needs to be done to tackle...

  • Yes, David. I agree with you about the potential of determining clinical efficacy of treatments. A potentially promising beginning.

  • I can see real advantages in early diagnosis, although I have concerns about the lack of post-diagnostic support.
    Diagnosis is most likely to be advantageous to the family because of the explanation it gives for changes in behaviour. They can then begin to develop new strategies for communicating and interacting with the person living with dementia, which...

  • I am not in favour of a sugar tax, as I think individuals can choose for themselves. Having said that, I get very frustrated by the fact that there are nearly always fantastic offers on cakes, colas and sweets in all my local supermarkets, but rarely a wide range of genuine offers on fruit, veg and salad. I would like to see an increase in offers on healthier...

  • Sarah Housden made a comment

    I think the idea of 'eating addiction' as opposed to 'food addiction' is useful, as it locates the problem away from the food itself: food being something we cannot abstain from if we want to survive and thrive. So, maybe its about us developing a healthier relationship with food, so that we make choices about eating which enhance our lives, rather than just...

  • My experience of wanting to overeat (and especially to eat sugary foods), is very similar to my experience of wanting to smoke. The cravings seem pretty much identical. So, I suspect that there is some kind of reward-centre in the brain which links to all addictions, and that sugary foods, as well as those containing caffeine, can indeed be addictive. ...

  • I agree with other participants that modern lifestyle and rushing around, has contributed to the extent of obesity in western society. On the whole, though, I would argue that this is a bio-psycho-social phenomena, with biological/genetic, psychological/emotional and social/societal aspects contributing to the weight gain of individuals. The social aspects...

  • Having fun, having energy, living life to the full

  • I'm hoping to get a better understanding of what a healthy diet is, and apply it in my own life. I also just enjoy learning.