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People with dementia: "Help us teach you!" | Civic Europe
Social inclusion

People with dementia: "Help us teach you!"

People with dementia an active member of our society


Who is behind this?

Barbara Pajk

Assotiatiation for help with dementia - Spominčica Maribor


Who is joining forces?

Aloja, zavod za dolgotrajno pomoč, Maribor


Medgeneracijski center Šentilj



Idea pitch

People with dementia have abilities and the need to be an active participants in society. We can learn a lot from their past knowledge, their preserved abilities, life experiences, and most of all their experience of dementia. All programs that cover topics about dementia are focused on providing professional information to people with dementia and their relatives. The aim of this initiative is that people with dementia and their relatives are our teachers and not vice versa.

Where will your project idea take place?

Local communities in the municipalities of Podravska region (Maribor, Šentilj,Pesnica), Slovenia

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

The Podravska region is not as developed as Central region regarding accessibility to services for people with dementia.People living outside urban areas, have practically no access to relevant informations and services regarding dementia. In these areas people with dementia and their relatives have lower social status and educational level, and are even more stigmatized and discriminated.Often they begin to avoid people and become socially isolated and depressed.Therefore they need individual approach and opportunity to be heard about their needs and challenges.Statistically, there are more elderly people in these settings, which increases the risk of dementia. The aim of our idea is to let them speak up about dementia and their chalenges, and together we can create an effective support.

Who are you doing it for?

Our firs target group to work with are going to be people with dementia, who still have the ability to express their needs and opinions. Our second target group are going to be carers who are taking care of people with dementia. In this process we will try include every opinion and idea from people with dementia and their carers. We will incorporate obtained information in our future programs, and "spread the voice of people with dementia and their carers" among local people, professionals (nurses, family doctors,.. from local area), and the policy makers in the communities. It is important that they are involved in decision making how to improve local communities to be dementia friendly, providing support relevant to people with dementia and their carers.

How do you plan to get there?

1. step: establish working group that will include 3-5 people with dementia, 3-5 carers, and 5 professionals ( M.N, doctor spec., M. Ger, occupational therapist, event coordinstor). Group meetings will be held once a month, and individual meetings (1:1) with every individual person with dementia (3-5) and carers (3-5) 1-2 a month with the aim of gathering and brainstorming relevant informations. First media campaign will be run (7 months). 2. step: creating written and online materials, and preparing community awareness campaign. (3 months) 3. step: working meetings with local councilors (2), stakeholders working in the field of dementia (2), organizing public event (2), educational programs and workshops (4), second media campaign (1) (4 months).

What are the expected results?

People with dementia and their relatives will be empowered for self advocacy. Our project will raise public awareness and strengthen the destigmatization of dementia. Programs and workshops created during the project will suit the needs of people with dementia and their carers, in specific environment. In this environment people are going to address and accept the phenomenon of dementia in a way that provides people with dementia and their carers the highest possible standard of living and empowers them to exercise their rights. Furthermore the cooperation with NGOs and local network and community policy makers will be developed.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

When people are diagnosed with dementia are often discriminated against their dignity, excluded from decision making. They are not heard or asked what support they need, we do it for them at the local, community and governmental level. People with dementia can still be an active member of society. They have a right to be involved in educating the community and informing the policy makers about dementia and their needs from first hand. Usually small local communities operate according to its own system, has its own way of functioning, specific values ​​and "important" individuals. Thus, a program needs to be tailored to the expectations and available resources of a specific environment.

Why is this idea important to you?

This idea is important to us, because people with dementia and their carers often express their needs and burdens in our meetings, workshops and counselings. We noticed the need of people with dementia and their carers from rural areas to have better access to treatment, support, nonetheless the right to speak up about dementia. We have finally joined partners in the Podravska region who have a similar vision and will to change things for the better in our local communities in the field of dementia. We have the will and the knowledge, and the confidence of the people in our communities to move things for the better to become dementia-friendly communities.

€ 49530,-

Total budget

€ 49530,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

internal personnel costs: 38.400,00
external personnel costs: 1.800,00
participants costs (people with dementia, carers): 5.000,00
presentation leaflets: 350,00
brochures and other materials: 1.600,00
operating costs: 2.380,00

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would like to receive as much advice, comments and feedback as possible, because we still have a lot to learn.


Spominčica Maribor


Idea created on April 25, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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