DI BONA Laura, KENNEDY Sheila, MOUNTAIN Gail
Dementia friendly communities, in which people living with dementia actively participate and those around them are educated about dementia, may improve the wellbeing of those living with dementia and reduce the associated stigma. The Adopt a Care Home scheme aims to contribute towards this by teaching schoolchildren about dementia and linking them with people living with dementia in a local care home. Forty-one children, 10 people living with dementia and 8 school/care home staff participated in a mixed methods (questionnaires, observations, interviews and focus groups) evaluation to assess the scheme’s feasibility and impact. Data were analysed statistically and thematically. The scheme was successfully implemented, increased children’s dementia awareness and appeared enjoyable for most participants. Findings, therefore, demonstrate the scheme’s potential to contribute towards dementia friendly communities by increasing children’s knowledge and understanding of dementia and engaging people living with dementia in an enjoyable activity, increasing their social inclusion.