Free confererence for people living with dementia

Empowered Conversations team with project manager Emma Smith, standing in the centre
Empowered Conversations team with project manager Emma Smith, standing in the centre

A dementia communications support provider has launched its first conference to bring people living with dementia, carers and professionals together to share innovations on improving communications and relationships.

The free conference – Relationships and Communication in Dementia from Empowered Conversations – is the first to be hosted in Greater Manchester and will be held on Thursday, March 19, at the Friends’ Meeting House, Mount Street, Manchester city centre.

Leaders in research, health and social care will be exploring the transformative role relationships and communication play in enabling people with dementia to live the life they want for longer, alongside hearing from those who are living with the disease and those who care for people with dementia, on their experiences to help shape future training, services, and support.

Emma Smith, project manager for Empowered Conversations, which is part of Six Degrees social enterprise, said: “In the spirit of the Empowered Conversations’ approach to communication, the event will be a space to build relationships, connect with others and develop a shared understanding of how we can improve outcomes for people with dementia. We are proud to be bringing this level of expertise together – from those living with the disease, carers, and professionals.

“Communicating with friends, family, and colleagues is a fundamental part of our lives and can change dramatically following a diagnosis of dementia. We know anyone who is connected to dementia through work or because of a loved one – they have the heart to care and the belief that things can improve for people with dementia and this conference – which will be the first of an annual event for Empowered Conversations will prove that.”

Speakers will include Natalie Yates-Bolton, international lead for the School of Health and Society at the University of Salford; research professor Alison Wray from Cardiff University; specialist psychotherapist Dr Esther Ramsay-Jones; Karen Dawber, Chief Nurse at Bradford Teaching Hospital; dementia campaigner Dr Joy Watson from Age UK Salford; and Dr Phil McEvoy, managing director of Six Degrees, which developed Empowered Conversations.

Workshops are also being held at the conference including how to communicate beyond words, through music and movement and support for couples.

Empowered Conversations – developed by Salford social enterprise Six Degrees and the University of Salford’s Institute for Dementia is supported by the Big Lottery Fund. Its courses are designed to help carers and professionals pause, reflect and reconnect with people with dementia when they encounter barriers in communication.

To book on to the free conference and to read more about the workshops click here.