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WS1. Whose Shoes?

Detailed programme, abstracts and presentations

WS1. Whose Shoes? – Making it real for people living with dementia

Phillips Gill, Ramsden Shahana and invited guests living with dementia

Kate Swaffer, who lives with dementia, would like it if everyone at the 23rd Alzheimer Europe Conference would take this unique opportunity of walking in her world with her. It would make a tremendous difference if they did. Whose Shoes? goes a step beyond raising awareness; it engages emotionally as well as intellectually.” This highly interactive workshop, suitable for 50 people, spans the key topics of the conference. Through a wide range of scenarios and a multi-perspective approach, we will explore the concerns, challenges and opportunities facing people living with dementia, informal carers and a wide variety of professionals. We will trigger crucial conversations to share best practice and innovations from across Europe.

Whose Shoes?, created by Gill Phillips, is a co-production tool meaning that people work together for positive change, fully involving people with dementia and their carers. The content itself has been co-produced, sourced from the voices of a very wide range of contributors, both professional and citizen-led, on sometimes contentious or difficult topics. The experiential nature benefits all attendees: care providers, managers and front-line staff will develop and 'own' new insights with potential to powerfully change the culture and way of working in care settings, thus transforming the experience of service users. Care commissioners and contract managers will benefit from exploring ‘person-centered' practices, helping them to achieve better outcomes consistently, and with a coherent, integrated approach.

Key themes: Breaking down barriers, listening, everyone working together as equals, regardless of status or role; dementia-friendly communities; use of psychosocial approaches - art, music, dance - and reduction of anti-psychotic drugs; role of technology and specifically assistive technologies; facilitating a culture change through direct personal lived experience. Embedding empathy and compassion, dignity and respect; promoting holistic approach to well-being; reducing stigma. Whose Shoes? - Making It Real was launched in London in May 2013, in partnership with Think Local, Act Personal (TLAP). TLAP is a sector-wide coalition in the UK: 30 leading health and social care organisations working together for positive change.

Kate Swaffer says: “It has never been so timely to remind policy makers, commissioners and front-line staff in health and social care organisations that each individual is a precious human being. Whose Shoes? - Making It Real electronic tool, with add-on dementia module, provides a wonderful tool to help people understand what we really mean by a dementia-friendly community. I invite you. Walk in my shoes.” This session was inspired by Larry Gardiner, dementia campaigner in the UK.






Last Updated: Monday 04 November 2013


  • Acknowledgements

    The 23rd Alzheimer Europe Conference in St. Julian's, Malta received funding from the European Union, in the framework of the Health Programme. Alzheimer Europe and the Malta Dementia Society gratefully acknowledge the additional support provided by foundations and companies.
  • European Union