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… :-)