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Living a normal life: supporting the development of dementia friendly communities

Author(s)

HENWOOD Melanie

Publisher(s):

Skills for Care

Publication year:

2015

An evaluation of a Skills for Care funded a programme of 12 pilot projects, across 11 organisations, for 12 months in 2013/14 designed to support the development of dementia friendly communities (DFCs), by improving community understanding and awareness of dementia and supporting people living with dementia and their carers to participate in their communities. Section 1 of the report provides an introduction both to the underlying objectives of the programme, and to the participating pilot sites. Section 2 presents an overview of the cross-cutting themes and issues identified across the sites, including motivation and engagement, working with the wider community, intergenerational aspects, engaging with GPs and the NHS, and impact and outcomes. The methodology for the evaluation included analysis of written reports; and one to one semi-structured interviews with project leads. The report highlights the importance of motivation and personal engagement as driving forces while suggesting that most projects encountered difficulties – to a greater or lesser extent – in trying to work with the wider community in developing awareness and understanding of dementia. A few of the projects were addressing intergenerational dimensions of dementia awareness and were working with schools, or were planning to develop such work. In working with a range of local partners many projects were deliberately engaging with the NHS in general and with GPs in particular to increase diagnosis rates. The report concludes that equipping people with the skills and understanding to respond to the needs of people with dementia has great potential to bring about transformational change and to enable genuine social inclusion. (Edited publisher abstract)


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