Could you share your experience of living with dementia to help others?

Dementia Voices
Dementia Voices

An innovative project is looking for people in East Dunbartonshire who are willing to share their experiences of living with dementia.

Dementia Voices is a local meeting space where people discuss issues, challenges and opportunities of living with dementia in East Dunbartonshire.

Supported by Ceartas, a local advocacy service, the group is now looking at new ways that people with dementia can have their voices heard and share their experiences. This includes taking an active role in consultations about local services, speaking at events, helping to record stories, developing newsletters, radio programmes and social media opportunities.

Gordon Thomson, chief executive officer at Ceartas Advocacy, said: “Our aim is to ensure that people no matter their circumstances have their voice heard and the contribution that they can make to East Dunbartonshire respected. Dementia Voices, built on the success of our Dementia Cafes, it focuses on the individual and was formed by Ceartas so that people with dementia receive the appropriate support in putting forward their views.”

East Dunbartonshire is the Scottish local authority area with the highest proportion of older people. At present, over 2,000 people in East Dunbartonshire have dementia. The Council is seeking more people with dementia to tell their stories and speak at events as part of its co-production agenda and Dementia Voices is supporting this process.

Councillor Michael O’Donnell, convenor of social work, said: “Dementia can have a life-changing effect on people who are affected by it, as well as those who care for them.

“Much can be done that makes a real difference. Meeting the needs and expectations of people with dementia and their carers should not be an afterthought or an add-on.

“Dementia Voices is a great example of the partnership work taking place within the Dementia Network. It is a group where people living with dementia set the agenda for culture change through peer support and pooling of our assets, skills and knowledge.”

If you are living with dementia and would like to have the opportunity to have your voice heard contact Karen Heath at Ceartas on 0141 775 0433.