Top Tips – how to engage with people living with dementia

Spirit of 2012 funds Our Day Out - a unique dementia-friendly programme for rurally-isolated older people in Norfolk. The programme is delivered by Creative Arts East and aims to reinvigorate older people’s engagement with high-quality arts and also to evaluate the impact of regular creative engagement on the wellbeing of older people.

To mark Dementia Awareness week, we asked Lea Schiller from Creative Arts East to give us her top tips for organisations to engage people living with dementia and how to get them involved in your projects.

1. Go to Dementia Cafes

Bring along photographs and a signup sheet then give a little talk about what the project is about. One-to-one conversation works best.

2. Promote your project in the right places online

Market the programme on dementia- friendly websites. There is a large number of sites available online and this means you are directly reaching people that are looking for a service like yours and are more likely to find it.

3. Use uncomplicated design

Make sure your flyers and posters have a simple design and are clear to read. Remember, you’re trying to attract people along to your project, so use images and remember it should look fun!

4. Be clear about who your project is aimed at

Make sure all your marketing and promotional materials are specific about your target attendees. Our Day Out is inclusive for all older people and we clearly state it is dementia-friendly.

5. Attend a training course

There are a number of training courses available. Learning more about dementia, as well as mixing with other people and picking up tips on how to set up a project for those living with dementia, is very valuable.

6. Engage family and friends

Think about how you can engage people’s family and friends in the project. Involving them can extend the impact by getting them together and giving them informal time and space to speak to others in the same situation.

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