Today I am very excited. I am presenting two Whose Shoes? ‘special’ workshops for the College of Medicine Summer School! I have a lot to live up to because the College of Medicine has written some nice things about Whose Shoes?
So what makes them ‘special’? Well, to be honest, I like to think that all Whose Shoes? workshops are special because they are created and tailored for the particular group. Each one is very different and that is what I enjoy.
But today I have an opportunity to work with students – and I love working with students. In this case, our future healthcare professionals – people who might be looking after *ME* in my dotage - so what better reason to get things right?
But these are students from across the country – multi-disciplinary, multi-perspective, multi-talented. I was thrilled to hear that so many students applied to be part of the Summer School – willing to give up a Saturday to learn about how it feels to live with dementia. (N.B. I’d normally be watching @alpot103 in a clash of local rivals : Knowle and Dorridge CC v Berskswell CC, so I share the pain!).
‘Walking in the shoes’ of people living with Young Onset Dementia is the theme of our workshop and I am truly honoured to be co-presenting with the ‘real’ people. One person in particular has told me how thrilled he is because normally he “just stands at the front and tells his story” but this is an interactive opportunity for him to engage with the students and co-produce some solutions.
The students’ responses and ideas will be collated and graphically recorded with the unique skills of Anna Geyer from New Possibilities. The messages will build and grow and feed into the workshop I am presenting in partnership with Think Local, Act Personal (TLAP) and European people living with dementia, at the European Alzheimer’s conference in Malta in October. Hopefully it will also add material for some work in Australia with the inspirational Kate Swaffer. Yes, things have moved on a LOT since we met as ‘imaginary friends’ only six weeks ago!
I won’t give too much away but the College of Medicine workshops will concentrate on specific key messages from the individuals involved and explore what we can actually DO to listen and come up with practical solutions. I don’t know about you but I think a group of highly motivated, clever students will meet this challenge and indeed astound us all.
So no pressure there then.
Anyway, in order to get the Whose Shoes? workshop started on the right foot (and indeed the left foot) I asked our #dementiachallengers for *Hot Tips*. As always, they leapt to the challenge. Here are some of the suggestions:
PLEASE ADD YOUR ’TOP TIPS’ IN THE COMMENTS BOX BELOW
And for the pedantic ones among you, no I probably can’t count. Top Ten (ish). But there again, Whose Shoes? was never meant to be about slavish adherence to rules.
Please add your ’TOP TIPS FOR SUPPORTING PEOPLE LIVING WITH DEMENTIA’
in the Comments box below:)
And students… please add your feedback on the workshops…