Let’s Talk about Dementia

 Your Top 10 of 2016


In this weeks blog and next week we are sharing your all time Top 10 blog posts of 2016, with an invitation to let us know what you would like to read about in 2017.  In no particular order here are the first five of your top ten

3 Themes to Create Dementia Friendly Spaces in Care Home Settings by @wendyAHPDem



As an occupational therapist working in mental health in Dumfries and Galloway I was given the opportunity to work with some of the residential care homes, exploring ways that dementia friendly design principles could be implemented to help create care spaces more suitable for people with dementia. Dementia friendly design principles focus on ensuring that the environment is comfortable, easy to navigate our way around and that it easily engages us. It requires us to take a step back and ask some simple questions of the spaces and environments around us. Wendy then shares 3 tips which helped the care homes create dementia friendly spaces.

12 Helpful Hints when communicating with someone with dementia by @alzscot



This blogs starts with an introduction to imagine if you were to lose the ability to say the right word or understand what was being said, eg when on holiday in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language. You may feel frustrated, angry and look for help, perhaps to someone to interpret for you. You might respond by not speaking at all and withdrawing into yourself of avoiding situations where you have to communicate with people.The blog then shares 12 Helpful Hints for communicating with someone living with dementia.

Our Top Tips” to Living Well with Dementia – Scottish Dementia Working Group by  @SDWG



This blog shares the work of the Scottish Dementia Working Group (SDWG) and Lynsey Robertson-Flannigan, Alzheimer Scotland Occupational Therapy intern (2015), who formed a ‘Top Tips’ subgroup. The SDWG members have over the years collected strategies and tips which they have found useful in helping them to live well and independently with dementia. Their desire was to share this knowledge, enabling others to maximise their quality of life by being all they can be. The outcome of the group was to develop a resource of all their ideas. After a few brain storming sessions, a booklet of “Top Tips” was developed and the tips were themed. In this week’s blog a preview of the “At Home” section was shared.

The whole booklet will be shared early into 2017.

6 points to consider before talking with someone who has a learning disability and their partner about dementia by @karenwatchman



Dementia does not discriminate. We are all aware of, or have experienced first-hand, the stress and distress caused when one person in a relationship receives a diagnosis of dementia. The subsequent impact on both this individual and their partner cannot be underestimated with recognition needed of the specific requirements of both.

Now imagine that this is a relationship between two people with a learning disability. How do you start a conversation about dementia with the person who has the diagnosis, let alone their partner? Dementia doesn’t discriminate, but neither does love. In this blog Karen shares Jenny’s Diary a resource specifically developed to support conversations about dementia with a person with a learning disability, their partner and friends. 

Allied Health Professional Maximising Psychological Wellbeing: Changing communication by @rmakellett



Rebecca a speech and languauge therapist developed this blog post, where the introduction starts : Communication does gradually change when a person is living with dementia, but as Stephen Miller puts it , “there is nothing they can do about it”. We are the ones who have to change. His book Communicating across Dementia1 is well worth a read.  We already have the skills we need to adapt to a different way of communicating. We all use facial expression and body language, tone of voice, and behaviour in every face to face interaction, and in fact we are quite dependent on them. Link back into the blog to hear other ideas from Rebecca

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Thank you to all our blog readers and contributors.

In the next weeks bog we will be sharing 5 more blogs from your top ten blogs in 2016


145701806349836Elaine Hunter
Allied Health Professional Consultant, Alzheimer Scotland

My remit in Alzheimer Scotland is to bring the skills of AHPs to the forefront of dementia practice and to share with them the principles and practice of working in a major charity that is dedicated to “making sure nobody faces dementia alone”. I am leading the delivery of commitment 4 of Scotland’s Dementia Strategy. In short, a great job working with great people.

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