Creating dementia supportive communities in North Wales

Artists Sian Hughes and Lisa Carter  look at work created at a recent event, with Steve Huxton of the Older People's Commissioner for Wales' office.Artists Sian Hughes and Lisa Carter look at work created at a recent event, with Steve Huxton of the Older People's Commissioner for Wales' office.People living with dementia, their family and carers are being invited to join with professionals who support people with dementia in the health service, commercial and third sectors and with experts researching the condition, in a new network of groups across North Wales. The newly established groups intended to provide support, information and an opportunity to share information and experience.

The network has been established by researchers at Bangor University, where the Dementia Services Development Centre (DSDC) is leading the way in providing research and practical advice about new ways to support people who have dementia, and their families and carers in order to enrich their lives.

Dr Catrin Hedd Jones, who instigated the Network from the DSDC said:

“We have already had three fantastic meetings over the summer and have three more organised for October. We’re keen to get the word out into communities that this is a network for anyone who feels involved in dementia care or is living with dementia in any way.

Based on the feedback received after the first meetings, the format will encourage more networking and give opportunities for members to share information and ideas.”

Providing feedback on the first meeting in  Porthmadog, one person wrote on a sticky note:

“We came with only a little information as to where to turn. We now have a much clearer direction, particularly after face to face discussions with various people.”

Next month’s meetings are at the Alzheimer’s Society Offices in Mochdre on 7th October, at The Old Brewery in Shotton on 12th October and in Llangefni Town Hall on 14th October and will run from 10:30-14:00. This will include plenty of time to network, have discussions, and also be creative.

Catrin added “We have what we’re calling a ‘market stall’ session. This will give people the opportunity to share any flyers, posters, photos, documents, or ideas about what is available in the area. We will also have a discussion session, with topics from the network members ensuring the day is relevant and useful.

We would like to encourage more people who are living with dementia to come to the meetings. Therefore if you know anyone who you think might like to come along to a meeting, please let them know that the dates are set. We may even be able to support those that need assistance in attending.”

Each meeting will have guest speakers who are researchers at Bangor University. Dr Gwawr Ifan will be talking about the successful Corneli Cudd project linking schools and care homes in the Mochdre meeting, Prof Bob Woods will be talking about the findings from various projects at the Dementia Services Development Centre (‘Living well with dementia – what helps?’) at the meeting in the Old Brewery in Shotton and Laura O’Philbin will be talking her research linked to the  digital life story work (The Book of You) at the meeting in Llangefni.

The researchers will be hosting a conference to share the work of the network with a wider audience on 27/01/2017

Publication date: 4 October 2016