Sheffield Researcher:

Dr Sarah Kate Smith

Partners:

Sheffield City Council

Funder:

University’s Faculty Innovation Fund

The Adopt a Care Home scheme links care homes with local schools. The Adopt a Care Home scheme was set up to enable people with dementia to become more involved in their local community, to feel better about themselves and to teach children about dementia.

Laura Di Bona and Sheila Kennedy  researchers from the University of Sheffield’s School of Health and Related Research carried out an evaluation of the pilot of  the Adopt a Care Home scheme. One care home and one school took part in the pilot and its evaluation. Forty-one children aged nine or ten were taught about dementia in school. Sixteen of them went on visits to their local care home to meet people with dementia. The children and people with dementia made “Lifestory” booklets together, in which they shared information about themselves and their lives.

The findings of the evaluation suggested the Adopt a Care Home scheme increased dementia awareness in children.  The children knew very little about dementia at the beginning but knew more by the end of the scheme. The findings also suggested that participating in the Adopt a Care Home scheme was enjoyable for many of the people with dementia . None were upset by the experience. The school and care home felt the scheme went well and are carrying on with it.

The scheme itself was established by and is run by Sheffield City Council. It has featured on Channel 4 news,  BBC Radio Sheffield and in the University of Sheffield’s Discover magazine.

The scheme is ongoing and Laura Di Bona is seeking further funding to research its potential benefits in more depth.

Anyone interested in finding out more about this project should contact Dr Sarah Kate Smith who has now taken over as the project lead.

To read a copy of the magazine article please go to: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/polopoly_fs/1.583522!/file/Discover_issue8.pdf