Working both sides of the door

Leominster Meeting Centre Heritage Project: working both sides of the door

This month’s webinar was a true hybrid affair, with some people attending and presenting online while others had assembled in the Town Council Chambers in Leominster. The webinar was planned as a showcase of the Heritage Pathfinders project which has taken place at the Leominster Meeting Centre. A lot of information was shared during the webinar and this blog will never do it justice, but we hope it gives a flavour of what was presented and encourage you to watch the recordings to hear it directly from those involved.

You can find the recordings of the two parts of the webinar here and here.

Hosting the webinar was Tim Senior from supersum, one of the project partners, who gave a bit of background to the programme. Twelve projects from individual Heritage Pathfinders were proposed and taken forward during the programme, looking at a wide variety of different avenues for engaging members and carers at Leominster Meeting Centre with heritage. The programme was funded by the Tudor Trust and Herefordshire Community Foundation.

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12 resources you should know about

Before Christmas, instead of ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ we thought we’d tell everyone about a different resource each day. This was done on both our Twitter (@DementiaStudies) and Facebook (@adsuow) accounts, but in case you missed it or you’re not on social media we’ve pulled it all together here. We also think the resources are worth shouting about, so we make no apology for trying to let everyone know about them!

Resource 1

First off, the CHARM Manual, our newest resource. A FREE interactive, downloadable, step-by-step manual for conducting research in care homes. You can get a copy here.

Resource 2

Our second resource to bring to your attention is the gardens assessment tool ‘Is your garden dementia friendly?’ It’s the latest in the suite of assessment tools and you can download it for free via our website.

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Art for Art’s Sake? – Art and music in Kirrie Connections Meeting Centre

Kirrie Connections

Kirriemuir, birthplace of Peter Pan author J.M. Barrie, is home to Kirrie Connections Meeting Centre which is based in the centre of the town. Kirrie Connections is a dementia friendly community hub which is open five days a week and has been operating as a Meeting Centre on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays since May 2019.

For the ‘Bring Your Own Lunch’ seminar on 28th February Graham Galloway, manager at Kirrie Connections Meeting Centre, told us about some of the arts-based projects that have taken place there. (Many thanks to Graham for sharing the photographs with us, and any mistakes in the following are ours and not Graham’s!)

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The Arts and Dementia: Shaping the future

On 10th December a group of interested parties gathered at The Hive in Worcester for an event hosted by the TAnDem (The Arts and Dementia) PhD students to share their research from the TAnDem Doctoral Training Centre. Following a welcome by Professor Dawn Brooker and PhD student Karen Gray, we had an elephant-based ice-breaking exercise with the premise being to consider how difficult it is to eat an elephant. By dividing an elephant into a few key areas – health, care, arts, education, research and advocacy – and getting us all to consider where our individual skills fit, we quickly discovered that we were a very diverse group covering all areas. Hopefully this indicated that if we all work together eating an elephant isn’t quite as daunting a task as it would initially seem.

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ADS at UK Dementia Congress

Last week the Association for Dementia Studies (ADS) travelled to Doncaster for UK Dementia Congress 2019 which was held at the racecourse.

The ADS stand

The event was opened with Professor Dawn Brooker introducing two of our TAnDem PhD students, Ruby Swift and Karen Gray, who talked about their work. They were followed by a relatively intense debate around the role of ‘environmental lies’ in care homes (e.g. fake bus stops, murals).

Dawn, Ruby and Karen presenting

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Throwback Thursday – My Musical Memories Reminiscence Programme

The My Musical Memories Reminiscence Programme is a project we worked on a few years ago, making it a perfect subject for this week’s Throwback Thursday post.

What was the project about?

The My Musical Memories Reminiscence Programme was devised by the Alzheimer’s Society and provided a music reminiscence programme exclusively for people living with dementia, comprising personalised, hour-long, weekly group sessions.

It aimed to empower people living with dementia to engage within their community through participation and enjoyment of specially tailored music, artefacts (LP covers, photos, and personal photos), and percussion instruments.

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Capturing the experiences of people with dementia – the Namaste poems

As part of the Namaste Care Intervention UK project we really wanted to capture the views and experiences of people with dementia, but from previous projects we know that this can sometimes be quite a tricky area – especially when people have more advanced dementia.

We’ve been lucky enough to work with renowned poet and author John Killick, who has a strong background and experience in working closely with people with dementia and their families, and creatively engaging them in feedback and evaluation. John is skilled in using innovative communication with people with advanced dementia and at end of life, even when they may have difficulties communicating their thoughts through words. He has previously used a wide array of stimuli including pictures, words, puppets and photographs to elicit feedback.

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Exploring the connection between body and mind in dementia care – the psychological aspects of movement

One of the underlying elements within Meeting Centres is the intention to provide movement-based activity sessions using the principles of psychomotor therapy. However, many people are unsure what psychomotor therapy actually is and what it means in practice. This blog post by Nicola Jacobson-Wright will hopefully help you understand a bit more about psychomotor therapy and why we feel it is important in the context of dementia.

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Arts and dementia in Japan: Report from a research visit

Offered the chance to speak at an arts and dementia symposium in Tokyo, ADS PhD student, Karen Gray, jumped at the chance to combine this with further research visits and conversations.

Japan: A super ageing society

Japan is a ‘super ageing society’, in which a currently reported 4.6 million people live with dementia. This figure is expected to nearly double over the next 10 years. While Japan has much to teach the world about being a society living with dementia (it provided the model for the UK’s Dementia Friends movement, for example), the arts and dementia field there is still very young.

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