Agnes Houston writes about her “Dementia and Sensory Challenges” project


My name is Agnes Houston. I am one of the joint chairs of the European Working Group of People with Dementia (EWGPWD), a committee member of the Scottish Dementia Working Group (SDWG) and I serve as a board member of the Dementia Alliance International (DAI).

Since my diagnosis of dementia of the Alzheimer type I have been an advocate in raising awareness on what it's like to live with a diagnosis of dementia and what you can do to assist us.

Dementia is more than memory but it was all I was being asked about. Six years ago I started having sensory challenges, nothing was in place to help me cope with these changes. During campaigning I found other people with dementia were having these issues as well. So, with the help of my daughter Donna and funding from the Life Changes Trust, the “Dementia and Sensory Challenges” booklet was written.

In September 2015, we had the privilege to present a poster and speak at this year’s Alzheimer Europe conference in Slovenia. I was overwhelmed by the positive response it received and so proud that the poster was voted as the best in its category. I would like to thank Anne Pascoe for believing in me, and the 25 people with dementia, whose words and lived experience of dementia and sensory challenges influenced the content of this free booklet. And thanks to all who voted for the poster.

If you would like a PDF copy of the booklet here is the link:

Alternatively go to the SDWG website

This booklet does not have all the answers, instead it shows how even with little or no help the people with dementia found their own answers and just got on with life the best they could. I hope this booklet will inspire professionals in the sensory world to use their skills to assist us to remain connected to family and friends, and remain safe in our communities. And to all people with dementia like those of us featured in this booklet: it is possible to have a good life, yes, even with dementia and sensory challenges!