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Event explores how to live well with dementia

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Event explores how to live well with dementia

Friday 14 November 2014

A powerful and emotive drama about living with dementia was one of the highlights of the Dementia: What Really Matters event run by the University of Salford’s Institute for Dementia.

A powerful and emotive drama about living with dementia was one of the highlights of the Dementia: What Really Matters event run by the University of Salford’s Institute for Dementia.

The performance of Lost and Found was developed by two drama students at the University who graduated last summer, who acted out real life recollections of people living with dementia. They also encouraged the audience to hold up different coloured cards depending on whether they had been affected by the condition themselves or are a carer.

Among around 100 people who attended the event on Thursday, 13 November were academics, members of the public, those living with dementia and their families, advocates and health professionals.

Following the play, a debate and discussion covered  different issues about living with dementia, as well as practical advice led by the Rt Hon Hazel Blears MP for Salford and Co-chair for the All Party Parliamentary Group for Dementia, visiting American academic Dr John Zeisel, who is President and co-founder of the Hearthstone Alzheimer's Family Foundation and Hearthstone Alzheimer Care Ltd and Eccles dementia activist Joy Watson, 55, who is herself living with early onset dementia and winner of the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friend Champion award.

Professor Maggie Pearson, Pro Vice Chancellor (Public Benefit) and Dean of the College of Health and Social Care at the University, said: “This event provided people with the opportunity to share and learn what is the best way to make a difference to the experience of living with dementia; both now and in the future.”

Ms Blears said: “I thought the event was very good, the contributors were excellent and the audience was very engaged. A lot of people asked excellent questions and I think it will be useful to have a follow up event in the future.”

Mrs Watson said: “It was really excellent and the combination of the play followed by a lively debate worked well. The healthcare professionals found it very useful.”

Earlier in the day the Salford Institute for Dementia External Advisory Board, chaired by Ms Blears, met for a discussion with people affected by dementia about what developments they would like to see in the Institute, as well as discussing updates on fundraising, appointments, research, education and training, enterprise, engagement, diversity and inclusion.