Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a one-day seminar hosted by Age Exchange (http://www.age-exchange.org.uk/), at The Kings’ Fund, London, to find out more about RADIQL (Reminiscence Arts and Dementia: Impact on Quality of Life) – a method that uses Reminiscence Arts to improve wellbeing and quality of life in people with dementia.
The day started with an overview of RADIQL, described by the Artistic Director of Age Exchange as “reminiscence empowering people in the present”. RADIQL encompasses two main elements: a structured Reminiscence Arts intervention, and a workforce training programme for care staff working in relationship-centred environments. We were then given an overview of the national context – the recent CQC report ‘Cracks in the Pathway’: the quality of dementia care in health and social services, and a presentation by KCL’s Jo Moriarty on care workers’ views of compassionate care.
The Keynote was provided by Dame Eileen Sills who continued the theme of ‘compassion’ by providing the back-story of ‘Barbara’s Story’, which I’m sure many within health and social care fields will have heard of already. Barbara’s Story is a dramatization created by Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust to raise awareness about dementia among their staff, and show the meaning of ‘kindness’ in the workplace, emphasising the impact that every member of staff has on patient experience. Following the success of ‘Barbara’s Story’, the Trust have since developed as series for use as training materials. You can watch ‘Barbara’s Whole Story’ here (with tissues at the ready!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtA2sMAjU_Y&feature=share&list=UUbJBh2MFKrX6Lf8bJ7_ZGWQ
The afternoon sessions saw attendees partaking in interactive workshops, demonstrating the activities one might engage with during a RADIQL session. Before the day, attendees were asked to choose whether to be a ‘participant’ or a member of an ‘audience’, i.e. whether to take part in the session, or observe a session from an objective perspective. These workshops were the most insightful part of the day, giving some first-hand experience into how the sessions may be conducted. For anyone planning seminars or ‘how-to’ workshops in the future – I would highly recommend using a similar form of dissemination, if appropriate to your cause, as this seemed to resonate with most of us as an effective and engaging way to demonstrate methods and disseminate research to peers.
The RADIQL method is currently being evaluated by Royal Holloway University London in a three year pilot project funded by Guys & St Thomas’ Charity. More information about the day, and the presentations provided, can be found here: http://www.age-exchange.org.uk/radiql-the-kings-fund/
A paper copy of the interim report and a guide to RADIQL are available in the BUDI office (PG63) if anyone is interested.