Dementia is an area of mental health that I have not had so much awareness of, and so the chance to co-facilitate a group specifically designing for the memory problems associated with dementia was a really positive opportunity. The brief for the MinD project worked across several areas that I have professional interest and experience in. Firstly, digital technology (I worked in digital marketing for nearly 8 years) as a solution to aiding with memory and other executive functioning challenges. Secondly, the products and devices that use this technology and how they can be best designed to aid with memory issues for those with dementia (I also have a degree in 3D design).
The day was well organised and facilitated by Julie, including a last-minute panic when my car broke down – a taxi was efficiently ordered and paid for the project, which was hugely appreciated as I have difficulties travelling on public transport. It made me feel like my participation was really valued. Comprehensive information in writing was presented in good time which helps me manage my own anxieties around not knowing what is going to happen.
Julie ran the day itself with a light touch, just enough guidance about what she needed and expected from the day, but with plenty of leeways for us to let our personalities shine through and connect with the Experts by Experience. Coffee and cake were plentiful and everyone was very relaxed, both to look and listen to.
The day finished with an insightful talk by Institute of Mental Health staff on the MinD project and participatory research more generally. Lunch was provided and unfortunately, I had to leave early and so miss the afternoon session, but hope to be able to take part in future events and also to read any outcomes from the day itself.
A very interesting, thoughtful and insightful experience.