Peer-to-Peer Resources - Evidence and Learning
We firmly believe that people living with dementia and carers in Scotland have an enormous amount of knowledge and helpful information to share with each other.
This ‘person with dementia to person with dementia’ and ‘carer to carer’ support is sometimes called ‘peer support’.
We offered awards of £500 to £7,000 to people with dementia and carers to create peer to peer support resources, e.g. leaflets, DVDs, videos, etc.
This funding was to enable people with dementia or carers to produce their own resources that would help people understand dementia better, and allow people with dementia and those who care for them to equip and encourage each other.
One of the most influential projects we funded in 2015-16 was a booklet produced by a person with dementia called Agnes Houston, in collaboration with other people with dementia, on Sensory Challenges (read more about this project here).
The Sensory Challenges booklet has made carers, professionals and others sit up and take note of what people with dementia are saying. It has influenced the re-writing of training and guidance for professionals in a number of organisations.
The booklet has been read by at least 33,000 people in Scotland alone. It has been translated into Czech, Welsh, Chinese, French and Japanese (in those countries). This is a concrete example of empowerment.
Due to the success of the Sensory Challenges booklet we went on to fund further peer-to-peer resources through which people with dementia and carers could raise awareness of a particular issue, offer advice or share learning that will help others.
This learning has gone beyond the sphere of people living with dementia and those who care for them.
These resources are also used by professionals, including hospital or care home staff, as educational and informational tools around dementia, and have led to an increased understanding of dementia and the experiences of those living with the condition and/or unpaid carers.
This funding has allowed people with dementia and unpaid carers to feel empowered to speak out about their experiences.