Focos Argento is an Italian company dedicated to support care homes improve quality of life for the elderly, people with dementia and care staff, through the principles of Tom Kitwood’s biopsychosocial approach: Person Centred Care. In 2018, Focos Argento became the exclusive Italian partner of Dementia Service Development Centre (DSDC) to provide the Best Practice in Dementia Care Learning Course for care home and healthcare staff in Italy.
To extend the knowledge and understanding of the Best Practice course in Italy, and how it can improve lives for people living with dementia, Focos Argento staff have taken part in a variety scientific conferences, in the psychogeriatric sector. These included:
- 2° International Conference “Care for the Elderly”, organized by the Erickson Study Centre, publishing house specialized in social and socio-assistencial (Rimini, March 2018) - presentation in " Best Practice” session;
- 21°International Health and Assistance exhibition “Exposanità” (Bologna, April 2018) – interview session;
- 18° AIP National Convention "Aging, fragility and complexity", organized by the Italian Association of Psychogeriatrics (Florence, April 2018) – poster session;
- 11° Psychology of Aging Conference, organized by SIPI, the Italian Society for Psychology of Aging (Milan, May 2018) - presentation in "Caregiver" session.
An important step in the dissemination of the learning course in Italy has been the facilitators’ session, held in Padua (Veneto) by Pauline Cameron, DSDC Learning & Development Officer. Focos Argento staff (geriatricians, psychologists, occupational therapists) working in care homes and hospitals as healthcare professionals participated in the session and will deliver the Best Practice in Dementia Care Learning Course.
The first of the Best Practice groups will be run this autumn in a home care and in a hospital: this pilot project is important for the courses’ dissemination in the Italian context, and to start an Italian validation study of the learning course.
The first training for facilitators, provided by Focos Argento, will be in autumn 2018.
Thanks to the partnership with DSDC, Focos Argento’s future goals are:
- Raise community and institutions’ awareness of the need to learn specialized and certified skills for the treatment and care of people with dementia, through evidence-based approach and treatments, as suggested by national and international guidelines.
- Disseminate the Best Practice in Dementia Care Learning Course, across Italy, in particular central and southern regions where there are poor care services and staff training for people with dementia.
~ Marta Zerbinati