3. Evaluation – I learnt from the experience that I had no need to be anxious because the relatives knew much less than I did. I learnt that relatives valued the opportunity to discuss how they felt with others in the same situation. There was nothing particularly bad about the experience but the attendance was lower than expected. The experience ended with a commitment to hold another dementia forum in about 5?weeks’ time.
4. Analysis – I should know by now not to be anxious of new experiences because they are never as bad as I imagine beforehand. It was very useful having experts by experience present for the sessions because they spoke openly about having a family member living with dementia and this was far more useful than talking about what dementia is or isn’t. We discussed at the time the low attendance figure and wondered how to improve this. Frequent and prolonged advertising on reception and in the newsletter seems to have minimal impact and I must look for additional ways of advertising such a beneficial forum. Those present at the forum were committed to attending again and there was some positivity that attendance figures would gradually improve. This was after all only the second dementia forum to be held at The Care Home.
5. Conclusion – The dementia forums are a useful support for families of those living with dementia and will continue at The Care Home. Family members had the opportunity to have a greater awareness of what their loves one are experiencing. This was a positive experience and I am actually looking forward to the next forum.
6. Action Plan – We will use word of mouth and social media to promote the next dementia forum and I will now discuss these forums when promoting the home. We will ensure that the dates are advertised in the monthly newsletter and also send information to the families of those living with dementia along with the monthly invoices. I may consider setting up and email mailing list to assist with marketing opportunities like these