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 Elevator Innovation Award 2015 – Shortlist

Check out the diverse range of innovative projects that have made the Dementia Elevator Innovation Award 2015 Shortlist! Dementia Elevator Innovation Award Shortlist 2015

Why not join us at the award ceremony on the 2nd of December 2015 in the Helix, DCU? This event will be a great networking opportunity for those interested in/working in, dementia care. We are delighted to have last year’s winners ‘Kildare Past times Choir’ perform and there will be a poster exhibition of project applicants.

RSVP here by 29th of November 2015.

For more information on the Elevator Award click here.

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.

Development of New National Dementia Office Repository

The National Dementia Strategy Office (NDO) which was established as part of the National Dementia Strategy Implementation plan, is currently exploring ways to share/promote exemplars of best practice in Dementia care. In order to facilitate this, the NDO propose to develop a repository of examples of quality/practice/service developments that are currently happening across the country in public, private, voluntary and education settings. Links to established information and resource hubs already developed across the country will also be included.

To assist in collating this information, the NDO are inviting interested parties to complete the form which can be accessed through the link below. The NDO will subsequently develop a database from the information received that will be accessible to all services. This database will provide a focal point for gathering and disseminating current initiatives in dementia care. The information will assist the NDO in strategically planning and supporting the ongoing development of dementia care across services. It will also assist in developing dementia-specific learning initiatives across services in line with the National Dementia Strategy objectives.It is intended that the development and availability of this repository will avoid unnecessary duplication of effort, and enhance networking and learning opportunities. The repository will be hosted as part of the HSE’s Lenus repository (

To complete & submit the form click here.

If you have any queries regarding the template please contact  Mary Manning at

Dementia Elevator First Newsletter

Checkout Dementia Elevator’s first newsletter which outlines project updates and training developments!  Read it here.


S​urvey​ on Everyday Memory – Volunteers Needed!

Many people complain about their memory, especially as they get older. There are many possible reasons for forgetting, and memory mistakes do not automatically mean a memory disorder. If we know more about how often healthy people forget, the types of things they forget, and the factors that influence forgetting, GPs and other health professionals will be able to judge how serious reported memory problems might be and how they can help people to improve and protect their memory.

An anonymous questionnaire-based research study in DCU School of Nursing and Human Sciences is exploring the type of memory mistakes people make in normal everyday life, how often these mistakes occur, and the possible relationship between memory errors and factors such as age, gender, education level, mood and fatigue.

If you are aged 50 or above, and you do not have a diagnosis of dementia, Parkinson’s Disease or a neurological condition that impacts cognition, a significant psychiatric or learning disability, or severe hearing or visual impairment , please take 20 -30 minutes to complete this anonymous questionnaire (link below) looking at everyday memory and memory lapses.

Click here to take a survey on everyday memory

If you would like more information about this study, please contact the principle investigator, Sophia Kilcullen at, or study supervisors, Dr. Kate Irving at and Prof. Teresa Burke at Thank you for your interest.

New DCU Module: Therapeutic Responses to People With Dementia

DCU are offering a new training module: Therapeutic Responses to People with Dementia. This module is suitable for those who have completed the DCU Dementia Champions programme. Practitioners are enabled to evaluate different approaches to responding to dementia and to apply psycho-social interventions that promote the well-being of people with dementia and their carers, including: validating people with dementia, building resilience, multi-sensory approaches and dyadic support of family members and people with dementia. Graduates are well placed to support colleagues in integrating these approaches into everyday situations.

Closing Date for applications is the 21st of August 2015. See below for more information and an application form.

Therapeutic Responses to People with Dementia Flyer (1)

NS4028 Summary Therapeutic Responses to People with Dementia – course information

Application Form NS4028

Centre for Excellence in Universal Design (CEUD) launch Universal Guidelines for Dementia Friendly Dwellings

It is the authors aim that these guidelines will support the Universal Design Homes for Ireland Guidelines and will inform national policy and be used in practice by all stakeholders including those who commission, design, build, provide and occupy dwellings.

If new dwellings or alterations to existing dwellings are built in line with a Universal Design dementia friendly approach, it will help people to remain living at home and in their community independently and safely for as long as possible.

​ The document is available here. ​


Elevator Innovation in Dementia Award 2015

Elevator Innovation in Dementia Award 2015: The Elevator team are pleased to invite applications for the second 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, 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.

We are also extending a special invitation to Dublin City University, Dementia Champions students who have completed a dementia care change project. The change project must be currently in operation or about to get underway. These applications will automatically qualify for the Dementia Champions award category as well as being considered for the main Elevator Innovation Award. The winner of the Dementia Champions change project award will be announced at the ceremony.


Above: the 2014 Innovation in Dementia Award winners

The closing date for applications is 5pm on Friday the 2nd of October 2015.

For more information click here:  Elevator Award for Innovation in Dementia 2015 – Information Document.

The application form can be downloaded here: ElevatorAwardApplicationForm1.docx 2015.