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Community and Dementia: Creating Better Lives in Edinburgh and the Lothians

Ed & LothCommunity and Dementia: Creating Better Lives in Edinburgh and the Lothians Conference - 26th November 2020

This was the sixth in our ‘Creating Better Lives’ series of conferences, and it was chaired by Professor Brendan McCormack, Head of the Divisions of Nursing, Occupational Therapy & Arts Therapies at the School of Health Sciences, Queen Margaret University. 

To deliver this online conference, the Life Changes Trust worked in partnership with individuals and organisations from across Edinburgh and the Lothians to design an event that reflected on and celebrated what was happening locally to support people living with dementia and their families.  By doing this the Trust learned from them about what the local priorities are for these areas specifically. 

For instance, what are the gaps in services and provision, what have been the struggles during the COVID pandemic and what has worked well, and what are people living with dementia and unpaid carers saying is most important to them?

Like all of our regional ‘Creating Better Lives’ conference, this event was designed to help support local areas – and all of us – to think more deeply about how communities can uphold the human rights of people with dementia and unpaid carers. 

At this conference, we heard about:

  • how ‘storytelling’ works to support people living with dementia and unpaid carers have their voices and reflections heard – what matters to them in their journey with dementia
  • what people living with dementia, their carers and those who work with them in Edinburgh and the Lothians say are THEIR priorities in their own communities. These priorities emerged through the ‘storytelling’ sessions that the Trust ran in the lead up to the conference
  • local projects and individuals from across Edinburgh and the Lothians, highlighting the work they continue to deliver and the support they continue to provide during COVID 19.

The learning from our storytelling sessions are written into a report and distilled to common themes. These themes shape some of the discussion at the final conferences, so that the priorities of people with dementia and unpaid carers drive conversations and considerations on the day.

You can download the Edinburgh & Lothians Storytelling Report here

Local projects featured at the conference included: Dementia Friendly East Lothian and the work that they have been doing with Capital Theatres, Carers of West Lothian about the support they provide  - and we also heard from Gill, who is supported by Carers of West Lothian to look after her mum - and the Eric Liddell Centre on how they have been adapting their services for families living with dementia during COVID 19. We also heard about the work of The Forget Me Notes choir.

After the conference, the Life Changes Trust put together a summary/evaluation report which includes a brief summary of the event, the identified local priorities, discussion points during the Q&A sessions about the local priorities and how local projects are being supported to deliver, and the key messages that people felt were important to influence change going forward.

You can download the 'Creating Better Lives in Edinburgh & the Lothians' Summary & Evaluation Report here

You can watch a recording of our full webinar, or you can just watch some of the presentations, below, whatever works for you.  


Watch a recording of the full webinar here, including an in-depth Q&A session with our panel. The time codes for the Q&A sessions are 30.29 and 1.50.45


You can watch the film of the Forget Me Notes Choir here


You can learn more about what storytelling sessions are, from Sam Rowe, here


You can watch Shona Cowie’s presentation on what people living with dementia, their carers and those who work with them in Edinburgh and the Lothians said were THEIR priorities in their own communities


You can watch Sue Northrop and Dawn Irvine talk about the partnership between Dementia Friendly East Lothian and Edinburgh Theatres here


You can watch Jim Brown and Gill McGinty talk about Carers of West Lothian here


You can watch Martha Pollard from the Eric Liddell Centre talk about their work to adapt during COVID here


To keep up to date on our events and other news, you can sign up for our monthly e-bulletin here.
 


The Life Changes Trust would like to thank Professor Brendan McCormack, the Forget Me Notes Choir, Shona Cowie, Jim Brown, Siobhann Keay, Julia MacKenzie, Karen Thom, Jess Wade, Sue Northrop, Dawn Irvine, Jim Brown, Gill McGinty and Martha Pollard.