Representatives of the European project partners met in Stockport (GB) from 14 to 16 March 2018 to attend the fourth Workshop of the ERASMUS+ “Silver Learners” project.
The workshop was organized by Stockport City Council
The main focus was on the Further education on health – Besides keeping healthy (sport, prevention) and new technical aids, this focuses mainly on dealing with age-related diseases such as dementia.
Following a welcome and introduction to Stockport covering both its history and background in European Cooperation, four of the project partners presented examples of best practice from their organisations around health & dementia.
The second day of the conference started off with a presentation from the telecare team at Stockport Council outlining the technology used with older people but specifically those living with dementia in the community. This gave a picture of the resources available for people living with dementia in Stockport and to allow for a discussion on different approaches in different countries.
The main focus of the day was a workshop delivered by the local Educate group, a group of people living with dementia in the community and their carers.
EDUCATE are a Stockport based group of people living with dementia, who raise awareness about dementia who meet regularly to share their experience of managing the difficulties dementia can cause. Their aim is to inspire others to live well with dementia, and to involve people with dementia in the life of their communities. EDUCATE receives support from Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust and Stockport Council. They are also part the Dementia Engagement and Empowerment Project (DEEP), a network of Involvement groups for people with dementia. As people with dementia, they believe it is possible to overcome the isolation and stigma many people with dementia still experience. They believe their own experience puts them in a position to explain to others that it is possible to continue to live well and do this by delivering living well with dementia talks to organisations, community and faith groups.
Having lived through the shock of a dementia diagnosis themselves they believe a timely diagnosis can help people adjust to their new situation. They work alongside health professionals to support others who are newly diagnosed, to help overcome their initial anxieties and help them face the future in a positive frame of mind. Lastly they believe that those involved in the support of people with dementia should be given the training and education they need, so they use their lived experience of dementia to help deliver training courses alongside health and social care professionals.
For the session in Stockport Educate delivered three mini sessions which covered the following topics:
Following the lunch break there was a performance by an intergenerational choir made up of members from Educate and children from a local school which was both inspiring and moving.
Later the workshop moved into a more interactive session with group work around the topics discussed in the morning which have been record and form part of the output of the day.
The final presentation of the day was on the „Smile-project” (Simple Movements in Life Every day), a low impact exercise concept for older people which also included the work Stockport does around falls prevention. In the evening delegates were taken on a tour of the historic sites around the town centre of Stockport including the Stockport’s famous Hat Works museum and other heritage assets.
On the final day in Stockport two more partners gave good practice presentations on the work they were doing around health & dementia in their organisations.
There was then a steering group meeting to discuss project management, formalities, evaluation and finance followed by planning for the next meetings.