New Dementia Friendly Project launches podcast to help carers of people living with Dementia

Maggie Smith (Gaelic Co-Ordinator) and Donald Saunders (freelance broadcasting artist) at Wee Studio.An Lanntair’s Dementia Friendly Community Project team have launched a podcast to help carers of people living with Dementia.

The idea for the Gaelic language lesson podcasts initially came from a local care home. Carers without Gaelic were finding it a struggle to understand people with dementia, who had reverted to using their first language Gaelic through the progress of the dementia.

An Lanntair project workers have also recorded a series of Gaelic Culture podcasts at Wee Studio in Stornoway, relating to island life and culture, in Gaelic and English, to be downloaded and shared by people across the islands.

These can reach people in their homes, in groups, care centres and day centres. They offer Gaelic language and cultural celebration, which has been highlighted as being particularly important and meaningful to people living with dementia.

These tools are intended for people who may have memories of the subjects in discussion but they are also really useful for anyone interested in Gaelic and island culture. Some podcasts are in Gaelic, some in English and some are a mixture of the two.

You can download the podcasts here –
The project team are thrilled with the podcasts so far – there will be more as the project develops. These podcasts are being showcased at local care homes and groups over the next couple of weeks through live storytelling events and shared podcast listening sessions with headphones and splitters from the NHS Health Board. This project has a remit to support people’s cognitive function, cultural background, bilingualism and to support isolated people with dementia and their carers across the islands. We will continue to explore creative ways to reach and support people with dementia and those in their circle of care, under the principles of Life Changes Trust outcomes, putting people living with dementia at the heart of our work.

Quote from Life Changes Trust:
These podcasts are a brilliant way of maintaining and building on cultural and oral traditions, and using them creatively with those who care for people living with dementia will help to establish an environment where people with dementia feel they are still part of their own communities. It’s a very creative way to ensure they feel supported and can share something that is important to them.’
About The Project:
An Lanntair has launched a 3 year arts-based ‘Dementia Friendly Community’ project in the Western Isles, in partnership with Life Changes Trust. The project will engage with people who are living with dementia and those in their circle of care, as well as reaching out to the wider Western Isles community, with the intention of building a bi-lingual dementia friendly community that reflects the specific needs of the place and its people.
The project will use various art forms and co-designing techniques for engaging with people living with dementia, their carers and the wider community. There will be several creative outcomes that emerge from the project itself, such as exhibitions and artwork as well as the development of innovative design solutions using culturally specific memory. The project also looks to explore the role that bilingualism (Gaelic/English) plays in the delayed onset of dementia and the related benefits of an oral tradition.

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