Co-developing a peer-to-peer mentorship program with people living with dementia
Social isolation, loneliness and stigma are some of the most detrimental psychosocial effects of living with and supporting someone with Lewy Body Disease (LBD). Peer mentorship between newly diagnosed people with LBD and more experienced people with LBD has the potential to reap extremely positive effects for both parties, and their care partners. This social enterprise will co-develop a peer mentorship program with people with LBD, to be delivered over video-conference technology.
About the project
In the UK there are 850,000 people living with dementia (PLWD). Half of all PLWD receive insufficient post-diagnostic support, suffering from high rates of social isolation, loneliness, and low quality of life. With increasing rates of dementia, PLWD have highlighted a need for opportunities to support one another, for sharing information and to foster a sense of hope and resilience. Marginalised and socially disadvantaged individuals, such as members of Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority groups and the LGBTQ community, have both higher risks of developing dementia and then greater difficulties accessing and receiving support post diagnoses.
The proposed project is to co-develop a peer-to-peer mentorship program (P2SP), utilising video-conference technology, with PLWD and their care partners, where appropriate. There will be an emphasis on including those who are experiencing compound marginalisation, both living with dementia, as well as being a member of a marginalised group. Collaborations with Volunteer, Community and Social Enterprises will be incorporated into the project design to maximise adoption from marginalised populations. The P2SP will benefit health care providers by offering another option for social prescribing post-dementia diagnoses.
The desirability, feasibility and viability of the P2SP has already been reviewed and is enthusiastically supported by national and international dementia advocacy groups. Led by Dr Laura Booi, a social gerontologist with over a decade of experience co-developing ventures with PLWD and care partners, this project will also work in collaboration with the National Innovation Centre for Ageing and in conjunction with Dementia Alliance International.