The ‘Power of Sheffield Journeys’ utilizes film and video elicitation to explore the potential of film and digital technology in helping older people and people with dementia to re-connect with meaningful journeys and to build community connectedness.
Funded by Sheffield Hallam University: Catalyst
Partners: University of Northumbria, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, Dementia Action Alliance, Alzheimer’s Society
Project lead: Claire Craig
It is estimated that globally 47.5 million people have dementia (Alzheimer’s Disease International 2015). At present, no cure exists and consequently emphasis has been placed on the development of approaches and interventions that focus on quality of life and strategies to equip individuals to cope with the challenges that living with this long-term condition brings.
Creating potential solutions to enable individuals to live in the home environment, to continue to connect with and contribute to the communities of which they are a-part and to engage in meaningful activities is a priority if people are to be supported to live well with dementia.
The ‘Power of Sheffield Journeys’ has explored the potential of film and digital technology in helping older people and people with dementia to re-connect with meaningful journeys and to build community connectedness. The enquiry has sought to understand how the arts (most notably film and photography) can promote social inclusion of marginalized groups. Sixty older people and people with dementia have engaged in the project to co-design a series of films that bring meaningful journeys to life again.
The research has shown that people with dementia have been able to fully engage in the process and that visual methods of video and photo-elicitation are useful methods to gain understanding of the experiences of older people living in the city.
“ This research highlights how design and creative practice can foster a sense of community. Most significantly it has positioned people with dementia as ‘experts’ in creating a rich cultural resource that can be accessed and used by future generations ”(Claire Craig).
The films have formed the basis of a series of pop-up exhibitions across Sheffield and are currently being used to stimulate and capture further rich oral histories relating to memorable journeys and key points of interest in the city’s history. Even at this point in the research the films are challenging some of the pre-conceptions surrounding the condition and what people with dementia can achieve.
The films are now being used across all of Sheffield Care with residents.