An exploration of the UK unpaid carer's world

                            Busy caree with her carer talking to a volunteer

Dementia Meeting Centres - synopsis       2nd version


There is an international project (Meeetingdem) to increase the number of Dementia Meeting Centres (DMCs) based on 125 of them within Holland, introduced over the last twenty years.  This page results from the author's strong belief in the continuity of the too-few UK DMCs started since 2015, and the creation of more. 

Worcester University here has taken on the introduction of DMCs in the UK.  The international project has a set procedure of meetings and the way the DMCs are operated.  Setting up a DMC can take over a year.  Two have started and those underway hardly bring the total to half a dozen.   

We proceed to the detail:
  1. The huge difference between a daycare centre and a DMC is that carers participate in the wider aspects of the care process which is person-centred.  A significant proportion of  people with dementia who attend DMCs regularly, experience delayed entry into residential care.   

  2. Participation in the DMC care provision and process, then, is the key characteristic of the DMC.  Carers enjoy sharing the caring when, normally, it is a one-to-one activity.  They enjoy the interaction within the normal activities, and occasional carer-group cohesion in the backroom together while their carees are busy and being looked after elsewhere.    Their morale is heightened by participating with their peers, and the DMC staff/volunteers, in the care given to their loved-ones, and others, with dementia.  Participation in the care activities results in greater understanding of the wider benefits to oneself as a carer, and those with dementia.  

  3. A diagnosis of dementia can be frightening for those affected by the syndrome, their carers and other family members. Learning more about dementia can help. Carers can opt to participate in discussion based on sharing their problems and helping each other.  According to interest and need, dementia experts join the discussions.  

  4. Person-centred care, essentially, is treating the person with dignity and respect: understanding their history, lifestyle, culture and preferences: and looking at situations from the point of view of the person and not a set of symptoms.   

  5. Reminiscence therapy is well-used within DMCs and participants enjoy including their photos and other memorabilia in the reminiscence sessions. Making the most of long-term memory contributes to overall wellbeing.  Sharing memories is a major part of that.  

  6. Volunteers participate in the DMC care process. They are a key part of the care provision.  They learn the broad principles within and ethos of an international project to increase the numbers of DMCs.   Worcester University is looking after the research aspects.  Results will be published around March next year.  A major charity has provided most of the UK funding so far.  The future of existing and a few in-pipeline DMCs can  depend on those results.  


The formal project demands a vast amount of reading.  Distilling it to this amount of text has been a challenge.   It is generous with meetings. If there is no DMC in your area, make contact, The new project will need meetings people.  If you have experience of initiating anything at all in your local community, even better.  But that's not a condition.  Enthusiasm for improving dementia services is the key requirement.  If you are a carer, you have a lot to offer.

      pagetop   Dementia Meeting Centres - synopsis 2  - here

                         UK Dementia Meeting Centres Home page  here