The Alzheimer’s Australia NSW Guided Tours for People with Dementia program is a one-day dementia training session for guides and volunteers. It is designed to give them the confidence, skills and strategies in both verbal and non-verbal communication to conduct tours for people living with dementia.
The tours aim to provide intellectual stimulation in a safe and supportive environment to foster self-expression and further meaningful discussion and active engagement, while exploring the range of art works in the gallery and museum.
The training is designed to be sustainable, as gallery staff and volunteers are equipped with knowledge and training resources that can be passed to new starters.
The one-day dementia training is followed up with a demonstration tour to give staff and volunteers an opportunity to see the training in action.
“To see the training in action solidifies everything they’ve learned in training,” says Denise Herman, Alzheimer’s Australia NSW Coordinator Social and Therapeutic Programs.
Guided tours for people with dementia are designed to break down the barriers and stigma a person with dementia can experience with no distinction made and no emphasis placed on the person’s dementia.
“For the person with dementia a tour is about being part of the group engaging with art,” Denise said. “The volunteers and people with dementia are part of that conversation. The facilitator is there to engage everybody about their thoughts and comments about art. It gives a person with dementia the opportunity to express their feelings and thoughts, and be heard.”
The Guided Tours for People with Dementia program has been generously supported by the Nelson Meers Foundation.
Galleries that elect to undertake the training are provided with a number of resources and Denise remains in regular contact to provide any further assistance staff or volunteers might require.
For more information about the Guided Tours for People with Dementia program or to take part please contact Denise Herman.
T: (02) 9888 4207 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
To read more about some activities you can try to promote and encourage active engagement with a person living with dementia click here.
Read more about the importance and value of active engagement for a person living with dementia from professor Henry Brodaty and professor Perminder Sachdev co-directors, Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA) here.