We are now in the analysis phase of our work here in Linköping. During the spring and summer period we have been writing a paper with the project leader for our work package, Richard Ward, and the project leader for work package 6, Ingrid Hellström, based on the walking interviews from the Swedish field site. We are continuing to analyse the interviews from all of the field sites with a specific focus on those people living alone with dementia.
We are working with the project Dementia Friendly Community – the Norrkӧping Model and collecting data to gain insights and experiences which will influence the creation of a dementia friendly model for Norrköping. Following on from the data collection phase we have arranged two dialogue meetings with a focus on bringing together: people living with dementia, carers, medical professionals, social workers, and policy makers, to share their experiences for a model for a dementia friendly community in their city. In total 78 people participated in these meetings. This has given us significant insight into how the Norrkӧping Model can been developed. Currently, we are analysing the data from the interviews and later on the data from the dialogue meetings.
As ever, it has been a busy time for the Stirling Team and we are now well into the intervention phase of our project, allowing us to ‘test’ some of our findings through working with people living with dementia in the Stirling area. We are also working hard to write up findings, and to share these through publications and presentations at international conferences.
Launch of the Our Connected Neighbourhoods Project
In August 2017 we were fortunate to receive funding from the Life Changes Trust as part of a consortium bid to host a community development initiative that will test our research findings in the local area. The consortium was supported by a number of local organisations, led by Artlink Central, and including Stirling Council, Stirlingshire Voluntary Enterprise, Town Break Stirling, Alzheimer Scotland, and the local NHS Adult Community Mental Health Team.
The project aims to help create ‘participatory neighbourhoods’ which support people living with dementia to remain socially, physically, culturally, and politically active within their communities.
We are working in a number of Stirling Neighbourhoods including Plean, Bridge of Alan, Bannockburn, and Merket Cross/Top of the Town. We have also been involved in developing arts based activity in a number of Stirling-based care homes. The project is supported by a group of local volunteers who are also involved in a participatory evaluation of the project.
If you would like to find out more about Our Connected Neighbourhoods or to get involved please email our Inclusion and Integration Coordinator David Budd. You can also find out more by visiting our website.
Here at the Greater Manchester fieldsite we are also immersed in the intervention phase of our research project. We have been exploring different practical applications based on our main research findings. These themes are developed from the stories that participants in the study have told us relating to what is important to them about living with dementia in their neighbourhoods. The five headline themes are: Staying Connected; Routines and Habits; Acts of Kindness; Reciprocity; and Staying In.
We are engaged in the evaluation of two neighbourhood projects that support people living with dementia to continue to do ordinary things in the neighbourhood. These are the Dementia Dining Group, and the Paws for Dementia Dog Walking Group. Both projects are delivered through Open Doors and funded through Manchester Mental Health Foundation Trust. For more information on either project, please contact Cath Riley.
We are also working with some of our participants to find ways to retell their stories in creative formats. Together with an illustrator, Domenique Brouwers, we have created a series of graphic comics titled Dementia and Everyday Life. The first comic in the series will be out very soon and here you can see an example of the illustrative work.
Andrew and Sarah recently presented some of our findings at the British Society of Gerontology Annual Conference which was held here in Manchester at the beginning of July. We will continue to write more articles and give more presentations about this research in the coming months. We will also carry on working alongside our participants to tell their stories in creative ways and develop informative materials about living with dementia in the community.