I went to my local dementia forum for the first time last week. It’s held during the day, so last week was the first opportunity to attend as I was on leave from work.
I arrived late (I’m never late!) as I had trouble finding the cafe but once inside I felt like I’d always been there – another WOW moment:) The session is for people with dementia who want to make a difference – a voice for those with dementia. It was led by Emily Abbott who is heavily involved in dementia awareness, and the forum is part of DEEP – The Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project – advertised as a ‘growing band of over 40 dementia involvement groups across the UK’:
The people, as always, were wonderful and it soon became apparent that their voices had not only been heard but listened to. York City Council had consulted them on new signage for tourists for the city. They’d thrown out their first offering as they were too confusing for anyone, let alone those with dementia. But their views had been listened to and their second offering was much clearer and user friendly. The council have now asked the group to offer up suggestions as to the best place to place to position the signs. Because we know the city so well we have invited a similar group, the EDUCATE project in Stockport, Greater Manchester, which encourages people with dementia to get involved in awareness-raising in the local community and beyond.
It will not only give us a chance to meet another similar group of like minded people but will provide a better test of the maps for getting around the city.
What a fine example of including users in decision making:)