Dementia Training Programme for Transport Service Providers now available!

This innovative programme will give transport services staff an understanding of what it means for passengers to live with dementia, and will provide some basic communication skills and strategies which could support them to use transport services. It was developed in close consultation with staff working in the transport services sector as well as people living with dementia.

What does the training include?

The training is interactive and engaging and is divided into 5 short modules.

The content includes:

  • An overview of what it means to live with dementia
  • Interviews with experts in the field including a person with dementia
  • A series of video scenarios set on a transport service, exploring supportive communication skills, and other useful strategies which could support passengers with dementia
  • What a dementia friendly physical environment looks like.

Programme features include:

  • Reflective exercises with each module
  • An online forum
  • Additional resources with each module
  • A facilitator’s resource pack for group delivery
  • A certificate on completion.

The programme can be freely accessed using this link.

The programme flyer can be downloaded here

The Dementia Friendly Communities Toolkit – now available.

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland have recently launched the Dementia Friendly Communities Toolkit. It contains a variety of key resources that will help organisations, businesses and communities to support people with dementia and their loved ones.

You can access the toolkit here.

The Dementia Roadshow

Following the Showcase in DCU on 20 September, the Elevator team hit the road to bring the Elevator message into local communities around the country. The itinerary included:

21 September 2016: Clonmel (am) Cork (am/pm) & Kinsale (pm)
22 September 2016: Tralee (am) & Limerick (pm)
23 September 2016: Roscommon (am) & Castlebar (pm)
24 September 2016: Achill Island (am/pm)
26 September 2016: Donegal (am)
27th September 2016: Dundalk (am)

The team covered 1,176 km and a total of 1,000 people attended the different Roadshow events. Feedback from the people we met was generally positive and the trip generated significant interest and demand for the training on offer. We really enjoyed meeting the people dealing with dementia in local communities and learned a lot from them along the way. We have returned from our trip happy to have made these first steps, but convinced of the need for increased local supports to make ageing in place a more viable option for people with dementia.

You can find out more about the Dementia Roadshow by reading Dr Kate Irving’s blog, which describes each stop along the way: kates-dementia-elevator-roadshow-blog.


Dementia Showcase and Innovation Awards

The Dementia Showcase took place on 20 September 2016 at DCU. The event was a collaboration between Dublin City University (DCU), the Health Services Executive (HSE) and The Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI). 270 people attended the Showcase, which highlighted the training initiatives developed by the project, as well as other resources available to people with dementia and their carers. There were many highlights in the day’s agenda. An interesting panel discussion was expertly chaired by Prof June Andrews. We also enjoyed a lively performance by The Forget-me-Nots choir, from Baldoyle (pictured above) and E-Gress, a moving artwork by Irish artist, Marie Brett and Musician, Kevin O’Shannahan. The event was a great success – many thanks to all involved in organisation behind the scenes.

The winners of the 2016 Innovation in Dementia Award were announced at the Showcase. Sincere congratulations to Mary Walsh and Aideen Lawlor, St Mary’s Hospital, Co. Dublin for their project – Becoming active participants in decision making through improved communication. The winners received €1,000 to help promote this worthy initiative which involves the use of ‘talking mats’ to promote decision making capacity for people with dementia.

20/09/2016 - NEWS - Image from DCU during the National Dementia Showcase to mark World Alzheimer Day. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

20/09/2016 -Winners of the Innovation in Dementia Award with Dr Kate Irving (DCU) and Mary Manning (HSE). Photograph Nick Bradshaw

New resource on Nutrition and Dementia by the HSE and Irish Nutrition and Dietitics Institute (INDI) now available.

This resource provides useful information and addresses common challenges around the area of  nutrition for those supporting or caring for a person with dementia. It can be downloaded from the INDI website

Reminder – Dementia Elevator Innovation Award 2016

There are just a few weeks left to apply for the Dementia Elevator Innovation Award! The closing date is 26th of August. The most innovative project will win 1,000 euro to start or further develop their project. More details on how to apply at this link

Announcement of Innovation in Dementia Award 2016

The Dementia Elevator team are delighted  to invite applications for the third Innovation in Dementia Award! This award will be presented to a project that plays a role in improving the quality of life of people with dementia, their caregivers, loved ones, and/or health professionals working in dementia care.

Applicants across all settings including (but not limited to) home, community, business, arts, technology and healthcare are invited to apply. The successful applicant will receive €1,000 in prize money to help develop a dementia related project or expand an existing project in a novel way.

The winner will be announced at the Dementia Elevator End of Project Exhibition which will take place in the Helix, DCU on the 20th of September 2016. Last year’s winners are pictured above. The closing date for applications is 5 pm on Friday the 26th of August 2016.

For more information click here: Elevator Award for Innovation in Dementia – Information document 2016.

The application form can be downloaded here: Elevator Award Application Form 2016. 

The Innovation Award Poster for 2016 can be viewed and downloaded below.

innovation award poster 2016

Dementia Elevator Innovation Award Ceremony 2015

A wonderful afternoon of networking, innovation and inspiration was had at the Dementia Elevator Innovation Award Ceremony on the 2nd of December in the Helix. It was an All Ireland event with attendees and shortlisted projects present from both sides of the border. We were delighted to have last years winners ‘The Kildare Past Times Community Choir’ who provided everybody with a fantastic performance of well known songs and carols. Dementia Elevator’s free, online resource ‘Dementia Coping Skills for Families and Carers’ was also launched at the ceremony.

See below this years worthy winners. The overall winning project receives 1,000€ to expand their initiative.

Winners of the Dementia Elevator Innovation Award 2015 !!

Picture Nick Bradshaw

Pamela Dunne and team, Daughters of Charity Support Service, Dublin 15
Developing life stories through digital technology as a means of supporting creative person centred care for persons with an intellectual disability and dementia.

This project involves an innovative multi step approach of creating life stories through digital technology. This includes the development of a train the trainer manual and a virtual life story for participants using personal stories, favorite songs and video clips. Watch this short video which showcases this wonderful project here. Password is: doc

Runners up !

Golden Age Tango Therapy
Ellina Nolan, Tango Therapist in Private Practice, Wexford

This project provides recreational support and social interaction to people with various levels of memory difficulties and thier carers through weekly tango dance classes, with increased emotional and physical therapeutic value. Golden Age Tango Therapy is based on principles and simplified technique of Argentine Tango, which is rightly described as a ‘walk in the embrace’

‘Will Grandad Remember Me?’ The Development, Implementation and Evaluation of a Schools Dementia Awareness Project in Ireland.

Dearbhla O Caheny / Dr Suzanne Cahill, Dementia Services Information and Development Centre (DSIDC), Dublin

The overarching aim of the project is to increase awareness among secondary school students about ageing and dementia and to provide them with a comprehensive understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and of the risk factors for dementia particularly modifiable risk factors such as smoking, alcohol, and obesity.

The Shankill Social Sofa

Mervyn Bell, The Spectrum Centre, Co Antrim

The Social Sofa is a 1750 kgs concrete sofa which local tenants in the Hemsworth area in Belfast, have covered in coloured mosaic tiles bringing their own bespoke design to vibrant and eye-catching life. The aim of the social sofa is to enable creativity/expression, challenge stereotypes, increase awareness about dementia, and promote integration and inclusion for people with dementia.

Dementia Champion Award

The Dargle Group: Conversation Coaching for People with Dementia and their Communication Partners (already mentioned in main category)

Aifric Conway/ Suzanna Dooley, St Columcille’s Hospital, Loughlinstown, Co Dublin

In response to communication difficulties often experienced by people with dementia, the Speech and language therapy team have developed and delivered a “Conversational Coaching Group for People with Dementia and their Communication Partners”. The members of the first group named it “The Dargle Group”.

Last Years Winner

‘The Kildare Past Times Choir’ performing at the Dementia Elevator Innovation Award ceremony in the Helix.

Dementia and Every Day Ethics Module ​ – applications now open!

This module will begin on the 1st of February 2016. The closing date for applications is the 16th of December 2015​

This is a blended learning module involving 2 days of in-class education and 12 weeks of online learning.  The module takes a person centered approach and covers a number of core ethical principles in working with people with dementia in a wide range of circumstances and contexts.

This module will equip students with the skills to recognise situations in everyday dementia care that are ethical in nature and how to guide colleagues in a helpful manner through a decision making process. It will also equip them with a practical and theoretical grounding in ethical decision making. There will be a wide range of topics covered including physical care and ethical situations arising. Social context and ethical issues concerning stigma and social isolation will also be central themes. Such issues will be explored from the perspective of the person with dementia, their family and communities in which these people live. The module will be predominantly scenario led, covering issues such as regarding, hydration and nutrition, continence, hygiene, responsive behaviours, pain, continence, sleep patterns and antipsychotic medication​.

Click here for more information and application details.

Click here for the word flyer for the course.

Dementia Coping Skills for Families and Carers

This free, online training programme aimed at families and carers of people with dementia is now available! Access the programme here:

A description of the course is outlined below.

Description of the Dementia Coping Skills for Carers Programme

The Dementia Elevator Coping Skills for Families and Carers was developed to support and educate families and carers, while caring for a person with dementia.  The programme aims to enable families and carers to recognise the emotions, goals and coping strategies of the person with dementia. It will enable participants to develop a suite of psychosocial skills in emotional and cognitive approaches to support these, while practicing self-care.

What are psychosocial skills? 

Psychosocial skills involve ‘interactions  between people, to support cognition  (eg, thought, reason, memory), emotion, interpersonal relationships and a sense of control”

     Moniz Cooke, 2009

The programme was developed in close collaboration with a group of family carers who shared their experiences in a number of filmed interviews.

This comprehensive programme will require a total duration of approximately 4 hours to complete. However, the actual time to complete the programme can vary across users, as the content within each chapter is flexible and can be used as a stand-alone education.

The programme consists of an introduction and five chapters.  Each chapter is further subdivided into at least three sections.

This resource  is accompanied by a reflection journal guiding users to apply and reflect upon the aspects of the education relevant to their specific situation. Furthermore it aims to demonstrate practical and applicable skills through:

  • Interviews with family carers, people with dementia and professionals,
  • Video examples of using the skills in everyday situations
  • Exploration of theory of psychosocial approaches to support a person with dementia.