[WATCH] UoM launches new Masters course in dementia studies

 University of Malta launches MA in ageing and Dementia studies • Parliamentary secretary Justyne Caruana reiterates government's commitment to creating more awareness about the condition, and equipping society to offer better care.

Photo: Ray Attard
Photo: Ray Attard

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The University of Malta has launched a Master of Arts in ageing and dementia studies, pro rector Alfred Vella said earlier today.

Speaking during a press conference at the University, Vella said that the Masters course would be three years long and that lessons would be offered in the afternoons to allow people to carry on with their jobs in the morning.

Parliamentary secretary for the elderly Justyne Caruana said that the course was also a part of the government's recently launched national Dementia strategy.

“We believe that one of the best ways to secure a dementia-friendly country is to focus on human resources,” she said.

Caurana added that a number of workers in the public sector interested in the course would be given a scholarship, and that the number of bursaries available was not yet known.

“Our aim is to encourage as many people to participate in this course, and therefore optmise the service they give to those with dementia and their relatives or carers,” she said.

Describing the programme as ‘unique around the world,’ director of the Faculty of Gerontology, Marvin Formosa said that the course

Formosa said that the programme, described as unique on a global scale, would look at both theoretical studies and practical placements, which would be provided by the government.

He added that the course would begin in February, but that deadlines for registration would be extended to allow more people to enroll. He further explained that the course would cost €800 every semester, and that it would require a Category II Bachelor’s Degree, which includes disciplines like Psychology among others.

Dean of the faculty of social wellbeing Maureen Cole added that the course was open to a broad range of courses and qualifications

“We have kept the specifications open purposely as people with various skills could benefit from the course,” she said, taking the example of people in managerial positions at elderly homes.

Caruana further reiterated the government’s commitment to creating more awareness about dementia, which affects an estimated 6,000 people in Malta.

“The government has launched a Dementia awareness strategy and it has even opened a Dementia care home, besides launching infrastructural developments to make care homes more dementia-friendly,” she said.

 “These moves are all part of providing better services, training and equipment to people with dementia, and their relatives and carers.”