#DementiaActionWeek – Thought for the Day

MEANINGFUL INTERACTIONS

The Filo Project Hosts focus on facilitating activities and interactions that help people to feel good about themselves, that support wellbeing and independence and that give purpose to people’s lives.

We emphasise the things that people living with dementia can do. The small group setting ensures that interactions are personal and allows the TFP Hosts to really listen and provide opportunities, as well as giving the time and space to pursue interests and take on new challenges, despite memory loss or cognitive decline. We see how much this boosts people’s confidence and improves mood and wellbeing.

Anne’s group of men have taken on a new challenge. They plan their menu together for the following week’s home-cooked lunch. They look through recipe books, choose a meal and a pudding and even help to write out a shopping list.

This simple routine is empowering and validating. It cements their sense of belonging to the group, having a role, a value and a purpose and allows an opportunity to make choices, however small.

They may well have forgotten what it was they chose the previous week but everyone is involved in preparing the meal in whatever way they can – whether that is preparing vegetables, stirring the pot, reading out the recipe, giving encouragement or just enjoying the meal.

There is a lot of laughter and confusion over baking measures – what size should the cup be? – but they are all now extremely proud of their signature dish – Bread & Butter Pudding.