On April 26 2023, the AIDA project held its introductory meeting in the city of Sofia, Bulgaria. I participated in it as a carer, together with my father Ivan Karagyozov, who is in the first stages of Alzheimer's dementia.
“Initially, I will give some brief information about the project itself. At the beginning of 2022, the Alzheimer Bulgaria association started working on the AIDA project, financed under the Erasmus+ programme, which is implemented in partnership with organisations from Italy, Greece, Slovenia, Ireland and Denmark. The two-year project aims to create synergy between three areas: care, art and culture, technology - aimed at improving the lives of people with dementia and their carers. The associated partner to this project is the National Polytechnic Museum in Sofia where all the sessions will be held. I would also like to share my father’s point of view and feelings regarding yesterday’s introductory meeting.”
“The introductory meeting with the AIDA project team impressed me with the warm and friendly attitude of Irina, Kalina and Maya. During the presentation of information about the project and the interviews they did, they tried very hard to make us feel free and comfortable. Also, they had chosen a very suitable location for the meeting because regardless of the person's age, when you are in a museum, you can always see or learn something interesting and new."
"We, the people with dementia, as well as our carers, felt the attention of everyone we met today. They moved chairs in front of each of the exhibits we visited today, so that we could feel comfortable and focus our full attention on listening to the information about them. I would also like to express my gratitude to the staff at the museum who gave us special attention. Starting with getting around, because there was a person in a wheelchair; through to the fact that they tried to speak slowly, loudly, clearly and briefly; and ending with the fact that the exhibits we looked at were selected according to the professions we practiced or to our interests and hobbies. Today's afternoon brought me the excitement and satisfaction of meeting the new and interesting things that were arranged for us. I am excited about our next meeting and I am looking forward to it.”