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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Ellen Jones and Tab Betts

The purpose of this paper is to describe the use of poetry by family carers as a way into the inner world of a person with late stage dementia, consistent with their…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the use of poetry by family carers as a way into the inner world of a person with late stage dementia, consistent with their values, preferences and experiences; enhancing the wellbeing of both the person with dementia and family carers.

Design/methodology/approach

The use of poetry is being increasingly recognised as valuable in improving wellbeing for people with dementia. Poetry has an intrinsic quality which is well-suited for people with dementia: it does not require following a storyline and therefore can be enjoyed by those with no short-term memory.

Findings

The paper describes the benefits to both family members and the person with dementia; the use of poetry opened up expression of deep emotions, improved communication and enriched family relationships.

Research limitations/implications

Use of poetry by family carers with people with late stage dementia is under researched in the UK and further study of the impact of this intervention would be beneficial.

Practical implications

Poetry can be used practically in both small groups in care homes or community settings and also one to one by family carers. Of especial value are poems that have been learnt by heart when young.

Originality/value

Finally, the paper also draws attention to the positive lessons we can learn from people with dementia.

Details

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-6228

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Article
Publication date: 26 November 2010

Lynne Mitchell and Elizabeth Burton

This paper summarises research funded by the EPSRC EQUAL programme from 2000 to 2003 to examine how neighbourhoods could be made dementia‐friendly. Design for dementia

Abstract

This paper summarises research funded by the EPSRC EQUAL programme from 2000 to 2003 to examine how neighbourhoods could be made dementia‐friendly. Design for dementia generally focuses on the internal environment of dementia care homes and facilities, but most people with dementia live at home. Unless they are able to use their local neighbourhoods safely, they are likely to become effectively housebound. There is also increasing awareness of the role the outdoor environment plays in the health, independence, well‐being and cognitive function of people with dementia. The research defined dementia‐friendly neighbourhoods as welcoming, safe, easy and enjoyable for people with dementia and others to access, visit, use and find their around. It identified six design principles: familiarity, legibility, distinctiveness, accessibility, comfort and safety. A number of recommendations for designing and adapting neighbourhoods to be dementia‐friendly arose from the research.

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Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 18 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1476-9018

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2002

Jill Manthorpe and Helen Alaszewski

This article reports on the findings of a small research study exploring provision at local level for people with dementia. The study involved a survey of practitioners…

Abstract

This article reports on the findings of a small research study exploring provision at local level for people with dementia. The study involved a survey of practitioners and managers, and the difficulties of this approach are illustrated and explored. Responses contained a range of relevant opinions about service delivery, particularly perceived levels of quality and adequacy. Those providing care pointed to the unfulfilled potential of services for people with dementia, and their views provide a perspective on the workings of local services and their inter‐relationships. The views of staff may be helpful to the development of planning and quality mechanisms. While they cannot substitute for those of users and carers, they are views emanating from experience and concern.

Details

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-7794

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Article
Publication date: 27 November 2017

Sara Miles and Vanessa Pritchard-Wilkes

The dementia-friendly housing charter was developed by the sector in response to the Prime Minister’s challenge on dementia and a need for this resource within the housing…

Abstract

Purpose

The dementia-friendly housing charter was developed by the sector in response to the Prime Minister’s challenge on dementia and a need for this resource within the housing sector. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the positive impact the housing sector can have on people living with dementia and identify resources available which the sector can use to support this.

Design/methodology/approach

The charter identifies relevant resources and examples of good practice to encourage their integration into all aspects of people, places and processes, the three “pillars” which the charter is built around. To develop the charter, people with dementia were engaged to identify the challenges they face and potential solutions that could be provided. The feedback of people with dementia highlighted the importance of design in housing to ensure it meets an individual’s needs as their dementia progresses. This could include adaptations such as sensor lights, plug sockets at arm level, wet rooms and open plan living. The importance of good quality training for staff was also highlighted.

Findings

There are a number of areas that were not included in the housing charter. Some were consciously not included, such as care homes, while others such as issues apparent when considering the wider agenda of equality are now being explored and will be incorporated.

Originality/value

In the first three months, over 600 copies of the charter were downloaded by a range of organisations including housing with care providers, local authorities and housing associations. An evaluation of the effectiveness of the charter will take place during Autumn 2017 to understand more about the success and limitations of the charter after which amends will be made if required.

Details

Working with Older People, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-3666

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2015

Kristine Newman and Laura Booi

The purpose of this paper is to share information regarding the Global Action Against Dementia Legacy, to critically reflect on the views of the Canadian Young Leaders of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to share information regarding the Global Action Against Dementia Legacy, to critically reflect on the views of the Canadian Young Leaders of Dementia and to strengthen the impact of their voices in the global discussion surrounding dementia.

Design/methodology/approach

This offers a critical reflection and review of the innovative intergenerational discussions and solutions offered by younger Canadians – specifically, the Millennial Generation.

Findings

The paper provides insights about how change and solutions in dementia actions may be established through intergenerational collaboration.

Research limitations/implications

Researchers are encouraged to make room for the voices of younger, less established generations in both discussions and research related to dementia. The younger generations will provide future direction to the Global Action Against Dementia Legacy so it is time to hear their voice too.

Originality/value

This paper draws on developments in the Canadian context to highlight the potential of encouraging a less-usual, intergenerational approach to developing engagement, research and solutions in dementia.

Details

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-7794

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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2013

Rachael Litherland and Toby Williamson

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the mapping processes and lessons learned in a project to scope the user involvement activity of groups of people with dementia

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the mapping processes and lessons learned in a project to scope the user involvement activity of groups of people with dementia across the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

Data was gathered using a mapping questionnaire designed with help from people with dementia, in‐depth interviews and through a filming process at two national events. A total of 32 groups completed the main questionnaire and five groups were interviewed.

Findings

The collective voice of people with dementia is at a relatively early stage. Groups are at different stages on their journeys and many (completely understandably) prioritise peer support, and local rather than national action. But user‐led groups are growing in number and confidence. They ask for support in capacity‐building, networking and learning from each other so they can increase their influence over attitudes, policy and services.

Research limitations/implications

The paper relies on self reports from groups the authors were able to identify.

Originality/value

Research that looks at the mechanisms that support the involvement of people with dementia is still in its infancy. This paper combines data and findings from a wide range of groups to provide recommendations about how to improve the involvement of people with dementia.

Details

Working with Older People, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-3666

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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2011

Andy Chaplin

This paper aims to outline the development of a new approach, using environmental design and non‐drug‐based interventions to support individuals with dementia to live…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to outline the development of a new approach, using environmental design and non‐drug‐based interventions to support individuals with dementia to live independently and safely in their own homes. Although in its infancy, this approach is beginning to show how it can help to improve the mood, socialisation, and short‐term memory of people with dementia and reduce the need for residential care or hospital admission.

Design/methodology/approach

As a case study, this paper is based upon the development teams' observations, complemented by those of other key stakeholders. It first reviews the policy context and evidence for the scale of the problem and some psychological approaches such as reminiscence work, which can alleviate the symptoms. It then outlines the potential in home improvement work in “dementia‐proofing” and “retro‐fitting”, to enhance reminiscence‐based “life experience” work. Finally, the approach is illustrated via an individual example.

Findings

The results so far – though not formally evaluated – suggest that design‐based approaches may add significantly to the effectiveness of psychological management of dementia via reminiscence work; early results suggest a reduction in the “chemical cosh” of medication.

Practical implications

This paper describes early developments in a new approach with great potential. In the long‐term, it is hoped that this dementia care model can be rolled out for replication in any home improvement agency or social care setting.

Originality/value

The impact of dementia is of increasing concern both for individuals and for public budgets. The potential in dementia‐friendly environmental design to complement other psychological approaches is an example of the search for more holistic approaches that respect and work with the strengths of the individual, in contrast to purely medical approaches relying on medication and/or institutional care.

Details

Housing, Care and Support, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-8790

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2007

Joan Murphy, Cindy Gray and Sylvia Cox

Enabling people with dementia to continue to communicate their views, needs and preferences as their condition progresses is essential for development of person‐centred…

Abstract

Enabling people with dementia to continue to communicate their views, needs and preferences as their condition progresses is essential for development of person‐centred services and care facilities. This paper describes part of a 15‐month research project funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. It examined the effectiveness of Talking Mats, a low‐technology communication tool, to help people with dementia express their opinions, in comparison with usual communication methods. The study involved 31 people at different stages of dementia who were interviewed about their well‐being under three conditions: unstructured (ordinary) conversation, structured conversation and Talking Mats conversation. The study found that Talking Mats can improve the communication ability of many people at all stages of dementia in expressing their views about their well‐being.

Details

Housing, Care and Support, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-8790

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2007

Celia Price

The aim of this evaluation was to carry out an evaluation of the Just Checking activity monitoring system, which supports people with dementia in their own homes. The…

Abstract

The aim of this evaluation was to carry out an evaluation of the Just Checking activity monitoring system, which supports people with dementia in their own homes. The study was carried out with Warwickshire County Council's social services, and a number of their service users. The system was installed in the homes of six people with dementia, and used by their family carers and care professionals, whose experiences were gathered in semi‐structured interviews. In total 15 people took part in interviews, including two of the people with dementia.The system gave family carers and professionals a better insight into the activities of the person with dementia, and how they were managing in their own homes. The majority of users were surprised at the consistency of the daily pattern of activity of the person with dementia and, as a result, their view of the capabilities of the person changed. The data from the system reassured family carers and proved a useful assessment tool for professionals on which to plan care.Contrary to expectations, the monitoring system gave people with dementia more control of their lives by providing a means by which they could communicate their capabilities in their home environment.

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Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-9450

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Article
Publication date: 9 December 2011

Susan Mary Benbow, Anna Tsaroucha, Maurice Ashley, Kathleen Morgan and Paul Kingston

Through consultation with people living with dementia and carers, this paper aims to identify skills that patients and carers feel need to be developed in the workforce…

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Abstract

Purpose

Through consultation with people living with dementia and carers, this paper aims to identify skills that patients and carers feel need to be developed in the workforce. This work is part of a project to develop competencies for the West Midlands dementia workforce.

Design/methodology/approach

People living with a dementia and carers were contacted through cafés, a carers' group and memory group, and two people contributed interviews to the analysis. All materials were analysed qualitatively using thematic analysis.

Findings

Feedback was received from 69 individuals. In total, six major themes were identified: knowledge about dementia, person centred care, communication, relationships, support and helping people engage in activities.

Originality/value

It is argued that people living with dementia and carers bring unique and valuable perspectives to an analysis of the skills of the dementia workforce, which grounds the required skills in the relationship between the worker and the person and family they are working with. This different emphasis needs to be considered and addressed throughout dementia training and education.

Details

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-6228

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