Experts by experience. Learning about dementia from… the EDUCATErs

This weekend brings an end to ‘Dementia Awareness Week’ and a very interesting week it has been too. I have been hosting a series of ‘in my shoes’ guest blogposts, looking at dementia from different perspectives. There have been some excellent contributions and I plan to post a “round up” of week 1 tomorrow.

The highlight of the week for me personally was meeting with the ‘Dementia Champions’ group in Stockport. Dorothy Hall and I ran a Whose Shoes? workshop building on the existing game by co-producing some dementia-specific content for a new version, linking in to Think Local, Act Personal (TLAP) and ‘Making It Real’.

I have worked closely with Stockport Inter-Professional Learning Forum  for the last two years. I am always impressed by their innovative approaches and once again  Stockport is leading the way. Their EDUCATERs programme puts “Experts by Experience” at the centre of dementia training and policy formulation.

EDUCATE (Early Dementia User’s Co-operative Aiming To Educate) is a multi-agency project including NHS Stockport, Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, Stockport Council’s Adult Social Care, Age Concern and the Alzheimer’s Society. It looks to give people with dementia a voice through involvement in training, peer support and speaking to others about their experiences. Several of the EDUCATErs came along to the workshop and generously told us what it is like to live with dementia and how they felt things could be improved.

Whose Shoes? style discussions provided an ideal forum. We all learned a great deal and discussed, in particular, how to raise awareness of dementia and reduce the prejudice and stigma associated with this disease.

EDUCATE is such an obvious idea, you wonder why it is not replicated across the country – hopefully it will be! Open invitation to the EDUCATERs if you would like to write your own blogpost telling us more… :-)

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About Gill Phillips

Passionate about personalisation in health & social care. Creator of Whose Shoes? - an imaginative approach to helping people work together to improve lives. http://nutshellcomms.co.uk
This entry was posted in Blogs, co-production, dementia, education, Guest blog, health, Learning and development, personalisation, social care, TLAP - Making It Real and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Experts by experience. Learning about dementia from… the EDUCATErs

  1. Dorothy Hall says:

    I helped to run the workshop in Stockport with Gill and was so impressed by local initiatives to take the message about dementia and support available out to the public. A lady in the workshop from Age UK had organised and run an information service about dementia from a bus in the centre of Stockport that morning, The bus is used by other groups and is a grant funded initiative of Stockport Health and Social Care Departments.

    The Whose shoes discussions came up with lots of good ideas about working with people with dementia and all of the group I was working with were really enthusiastic and open minded with lots of practical ideas. In my group there was one powerful negative – transport systems need to change, buses don’t wait for older frail people to sit down, buses are unreliable. Has anyone heard of good transport initiatives with universal bus services? – much needed! – a good co-production opportunity I think !

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  2. Whose Shoes? says:

    Thanks for this Dorothy and for your great contribution co-facilitating the Stockport workshop. Transport comes up as a key issue at most of our sessions. The Cherwell Care event in Oxfordshire and the session we held with Force 4 Change in Leicestershire immediately come to mind. Similarly, an earlier “in my shoes – on the buses” blog gave some practical examples of how lack of transport limits independence.

    As one of the Whose Shoes? cards says “It is no use having the right service … if we haven’t got any transport to get there!”

    I think Governance International have some good case studies where more imaginative approaches have been tried.

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