Welcome to Dr Mary’s Knowledge Tree

Training

My training covers all part of the sector, founded on the firm belief that everyone deserves great care, and I work to realise this dream.

Research

Ever since my time in academia, I have always believed in the importance of good research and knowledge. I strive to continually increase my own knowledge.

Education

I believe in the fundamental importance of learning and education and strive to promote good knowledge in the care sector across Cornwall.

Evaluation

I believe without proper evaluation and grading, one can never truly learn, which is why I provide professional evaluation of your current skills.

I’m

DR Mary

Dr Mary Curtis PhD, MSc BSc (Joint Honours) FHEA Cert Ed Trained and worked as a nurse in the UK & abroad for a number of years. A change of direction led to a career in academia where I spent many years leading, developing and teaching a range of undergraduate & postgraduate courses. For the last eleven years I’ve worked as an independent Educationalist & Researcher, specialising (although not exclusively), in primary & secondary health & social care.

Why Dr Mary’s Knowledge Tree?

The story of how my company got it’s name.

1.

Knowledge Tree in homage to the place of my birth & formative years.

Dublin, Ireland. Not far from our family home was a delightful park. It has an interesting history, and at one point had included a gallows! At the far end , positioned just outside was an enormous chestnut tree. A seat that wrapped right round the base of the  tree was created during the mid 1900s. This is where all the local old codgers (retired men) gathered daily to discuss news, views, events & to philosophise about life in general.  As a result, the tree became known as the Tree of Knowledge by locals.

2.

Dublin, Ireland. Not far from our family  home was a delightful park. It has an interesting history, and  at one point had included a gallows! At the far end ,  positioned just outside was an enormous chestnut tree. A seat that wrapped right round the base of the  tree was created during the mid 1900s. This is where all the local old codgers (retired men) gathered daily to discuss news, views, events & to philosophise about life in general.  As a result, the tree became known as the Tree of Knowledge by locals.

3.

Early during my nursing career, having witnessed many ethical dilemmas, I developed an interest in ethical matters. Later, my academic career gave me a strong appreciation about the importance of education in its widest possible sense & how  developing knowledge is so very liberating.  As the years passed, I have sadly witnessed a shrinking in the content of university courses, especially with the introduction of ‘fees’. Students now seem to learn a little about a lot as opposed to lots about a specific subject. E learning became pernicious, with no learning occurring. We are now situated in what I and academic colleagues refer to as the pancake brain society, i.e. all width and no depth! Dangerous! Acquiring ‘knowledge’ purely for pleasure which I greatly enjoy is vanishing. 

4.

Chatting with one of my brothers about going solo, I was lamenting the changes and wondering how to incorporate my ideals into a meaningful trading name. I knew it had to contain the word ‘knowledge’ and during a brainstorming session with friends the previous evening we had come up with acronym ‘Tree’ after exploring the four strands I would be bringing together: Teaching, Research, Education and Evaluation.

I had forgotten about the tree at the top end of the park but my brother Maurice was on the ball & excitedly reminded me. So there you have it. Knowledge Tree, a bow to my roots  Ha-ha! No pun intended) and perfectly fitting for my purpose.

MY Blog

Lewy Body Dementia

Dementia with Lewy bodies is unique because not only is cognition affected, which happens with other types of dementia, but movement and autonomic processes (key involuntary functions  such as breathing, heart rate, digestive processes and body temperature) are also...

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Dr Mary’s Tips About Dementia Care.

Learning how to redirect a dementia patient is often difficult. The concept itself is difficult to grasp. Learning how to embrace the reality of a dementia patient is also difficult. Learning how to redirect a person living with dementia and how to embrace reality are...

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What is Frontotemporal Dementia?

Frontotemporal dementia, also known as Pick's disease, is an uncommon form of the fatal brain degeneration. It begins specifically in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, which control people's speech and behaviour. It is caused by nerve cells dying in the...

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Tips about dementia

The number of people suffering with a dementia is rising as better quality of life and improved medical care means people are living longer. Some 850,000 Brits, 5.7 million Americans and 425,000 Australians are believed to be living with the condition, which cause...

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Courses & Events

Getting To Grips With The Dementias (A three day programme)

The dementias affect millions of people deeply affecting the lives of their loved ones. Good care has been proven to have a significant effect on the quality of life of a person with a dementia.  To ensure good care, staff must be thoroughly and continually EDUCATED by qualified & well-prepared professionals.

Unlike most chronic & long term illnesses, dementia primarily affects the brain. Memory loss is irreversible, depression is common and behavioural symptoms such as screaming, searching for someone, overacting to stress, and resisting care are evidence of the distress it causes. Dementia changes a person’s understanding of the need for care, devastates relationships, and results in behaviours that are difficult for caregivers to understand & manage. Many of those with a dementia eventually need formal care – home care, day care, residential or nursing care. The majority of care in such settings is provided by care assistants support workers, assistant practitioners   etc., under the supervision of nurses in some, but not all settings.  Despite limitations in resources, direct care staff must be assisted in changing their behaviour not just their knowledge base.  The goal of my specifically designed & developed interactive ‘educational’   programme is to address the gap between the available knowledge base and the care actually provided, thus opening a door to learning that works in the workplace.

This is an intense 3 day programme, one day per month. Delegates must sign up for all three days.  Each day commences at 09.30 & ends at 16.30  at Lanner Band Hall. Refreshments provided. Bring lunch.

Indicative content

 Day 1 – Helping the person by understanding the problem. The human brain explained &  the role of brain damage. Normal forgetfulness.  Definition and impact of a dementia.  Different types of dementias. Diagnosis / evaluation / causes.  Abilities commonly impaired in different types of dementia. The voice & experience of the person with a dementia.  Experiencing various losses.  Limiting demands on lost functions.  Experiencing different types of dementia.  Tips to implement in practice.

 Day 2 – The progression of different types of dementia.  The interplay of personality, life experience & cognitive losses. Recognizing the capacities that people with a dementia commonly retain.  Understandings & misunderstandings about the cause of behavioural symptoms. Abilities commonly impaired. The role of neurotransmitters.  Latest research evidence.  Helping the person by understanding how the brain affects behaviour & practical tips to implement in practice. Facilitating function by treating excess disability, e.g.  Illness besides the dementia, pain, reactions to medications, sensory problems (poor hearing, poor vision ) and dizziness are most common.

Day 3 – Review participants’ understanding of how the brain affects behaviour & cognition.  How cognitive deficits account for many behavioural symptoms.  Helping delegates realise that damage within the brain also accounts for  many other behavioural symptoms, such as loss of judgement & insight, arguing unreasonably, or inability to control impulses.  A complex mix of spared and impaired functions may look to the layperson or ill informed staff, like ‘manipulation’, ‘denial’, ‘personality’ or ‘life experience’.  This course teaches participants to solve problems, which requires a set of correct assumptions about their cause and the ability to identify the specific problem.

Each day is underpinned by REAL case studies, clinical scenarios (from my own & colleagues’ research), experiential exercises  & tips to apply in practice based on the latest research evidence.

Bookings: drmarycurtis33@gmail.com  / 07946242183 – £35 per day  

At Lanner New Band Hall from 09.30 to 16.30 on the following dates:

Thursday 29th March – Day 1

Tues 17th April – Day 2

Thurs 3rd May – Day 3

Refreshments provided. Bring lunch.

Supporting People With Learning Disabilities And A Dementia: Ageing and Dementia: An Introductory 2 day course.

 

Are you aware of the latest research on Learning Disabilities & Dementia? What should you look out for? How and where can you get help? Why are there subtle changes in mood? This course will answer those questions for you and lots more.

The prevalence of dementia for individuals with a learning disability can vary according to whether you include the statistics for people who also have Down’s Syndrome. For those who are learning disabled and who do not have Down’s Syndrome, the prevalence rate is still increased over the general population. It is said to be around 13 in 100 people when aged over 50 years to 22 in 100 people when aged over 65. This is approaching a level that is four times as great as the general population.  People who have Down’s Syndrome are at an even greater risk of developing a particular form of dementia known as Alzheimer’s Disease (sometimes referred to as Dementia Alzheimer’s Type or DAT). Due to congenital chromosome abnormality, the differences in brain tissue are already similar to changes that occur with the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease. Prevalence rates have been put at ten (some studies report as high as 25) in 100 people at 40 years of age, 36 in 100 people at 50 years and 50-65 people in 100 when aged over 60.

Learn about signs and symptoms of dementia when found in people who have a learning disability: There is no evidence that dementia affects individuals with a learning disability differently from the general population. However, the condition may be more difficult to initially diagnose. It may be more difficult to recognise changes taking place on account of a person’s already limited language skills and reasoning ability and their behaviour traits.  Carers can play a very important role in helping to interpret potential symptoms. They know the person well and can best judge if there are changes to the personality and untoward behaviour emerging.  From the outset, it is important to exclude other medical causes for a person showing deterioration and a full health assessment should be undertaken.

The majority of care is provided by care assistants support workers, assistant practitioners   etc., under the supervision of nurses in some, but not all settings.  Despite limitations in resources, direct care staff must be assisted in changing their behaviour not just their knowledge base.  The goal of my specifically designed & developed interactive ‘educational’   programme is to address the gap between the available knowledge base and the care actually provided, thus opening a door to learning that works in the workplace. This course teaches participants to solve problems, which requires a set of correct assumptions about their cause and the ability to identify the specific problem.

The days are underpinned by REAL case studies, clinical scenarios (from my own & colleagues’ research), experiential exercises  & tips to apply in practice based on the latest research evidence.

Bookings: drmarycurtis33@gmail.com  / 07946242183 – £35 per day  

At Lanner New Band Hall from 09.30 to 16.30 on the following dates:

Thursday 19th April – Day 1

Thursday 17th May – Day 2

Refreshments provided. Bring lunch.

Watch this space for further information

 

Effective Practices In Palliation And During The Dying Process

Tues 24th April – Day 1

Tues 8th May – Day 2

Legal And Ethical Matters In Care

Thurs 26th April – Introductory Course

Thurs 10th May – Intermediate Level for those who have completed the introductory course.

Therapeutic Communication: Dealing Effectively With Difficult Conversations / Situations in Care

Tues 15th May

Dealing Effectively With Fears And Anxiety

Thurs 24th May

"A very big thank you for the training on 'Teambuilding Friday'. The feedback forms are all very positive and you failed to score below a 5 for anything. I am very grateful to you for offering the training at such a reasonable cost!"

– Angela Rowe, Services Manager in Cornwall

"I just wanted to tell you once again how much I enjoyed the way you carried out the training session at the Millenium Centre, Pensilva. It was interesting and fun, which is more than I can normally say about training sessions."

Paul, Social Services

"I have been training GP for many years and I must say this has been one of the best programmes I’ve attended. You could charge three times the amount and the programme would still be great value for money! Many thanks. I will certainly be recommending you."

– Dr D.J. – Palliative Care Course

"Thank you so much for coming to talk to us all on Wednesday on ‘Breaking Bad News’. The whole department are unanimous in their praise for the most entertaining, informative and fun session it was. Come back and see us again soon."

– A Departmental Manager, NHS Acute Trust

Testimonials

Contact me