The Living Well with Dementia (LivDem) course is specifically designed to be used in the NHS. It is intended to be delivered by clinicians who have experience and skills in working with people who are living with dementia, but who may not have run a course before. This may include nurses and occupational therapists.
The course itself is time-limited. Its eight weekly sessions are only attended by people who have been diagnosed with dementia, with additional preliminary and follow-up sessions which carers can also attend.
LivDem is a psycho-educational course. However, as we know that talking about dementia brings up many difficult feelings, LivDem has been designed to help people to talk openly. For instance, in the first sessions, the focus is on talking about the symptoms that people experience - such as forgetfulness and losing words. As the course progresses, so it looks at the feelings that these problems create, and the diagnostic journey. The final sessions focus on practical issues.
The LivDem manual details the content of the course as well as setting out some of the techniques that facilitators will use. We also recommend that facilitators attend training and receive supervision, for instance from local clinical psychologists.
The course is being delivered across the NHS as well as in Ireland and Italy.
If you are interested in finding out more about setting up a course in your area, please get in touch with us - LivDem@uwe.ac.uk