Journey through Dementia
Art and Design Research Centre
Developing a self-management programme for people with dementia.
Dementia is one of large number of long term conditions. The UK Department of Health (DoH) estimates that almost one-third of the population has a long-term health condition, accounting for 80% of all primary care visits (DoH, 2008). Similar patterns are reported globally with incidence rising (Nolte and McKee, 2008). Therefore, identifying solutions to the challenge of ever increasing service demand in the face of finite resources is a pressing goal for health policy and for economies.
Self-management, where the individual with a long-term condition is encouraged to learn to manage their health and identify solutions to meet their specific needs is being promoted as an attractive, workable solution which can enable people to retain independence and quality of life and as such is a significant policy driver (Singh, 2008). Journeying through dementia is research project where people with dementia worked alongside researchers to co-create a self-management programme for people with dementia.
This research used participative research methods to obtain views from people with dementia and carers about their experiences and the interventions that they consider can assist in facilitating independence and quality of life post diagnosis. These views were used to identify priority topics for a potential self-management programme. The relevance of the identified topics were then explored with a consultation group of people with dementia and their carers.
Data generated from the individual interviews identified a number of themes for a potential self-management group which were then validated through consultation. Optimum modes of delivery of a self-management programme were also indicated.
A draft programme has been constructed building upon the framework of identified priorities.
The process and outputs from the consultation also indicated the significant ramifications of such a programme for services.
Dr Claire Craig - Member of Lab4Living, Senior Lecturer Occupational Therapy
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