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Welcome to our festive second newsletter!

Dear reader,

A year ago we started our INTenSE project with a digital kick-off. With great fulfilment we look back at a successful first year, in which we also held our first ‘in-person’ INTenSE training (which you can read more about below).

Furthermore, we were actively disseminating and presenting the project, including at the Alzheimer Europe conference 2021.

Thanks for joining us on our INTenSE journey in 2021, to explore the possibilities of self-experience and VR in dementia care. We can’t wait to see what exciting discoveries and (self) experiences 2022 has in store for us all.

We wish you a wonderful Christmas time and all the best for the new year! During our final meeting of the year we made sure to bring the festive cheer, as you can see in the photo:

Looking back at the first INTenSE training

From 11 to 15 October we held our first INTenSE training at DCU, Ireland. During this three-day training participants were introduced to the concept of self-experience and also got hands-on experience in several methods, such as performing a role play and theater play, but also experiencing VR simulations. Several insights resulted from this training, and will be taken into account in the development of the toolkit. For instance, we learned that high tech is not always better, and that movies can have a great impact on how people can be taught to perceive and experience dementia from a distance.

Alzheimer Europe

We also participated in the conference - among others with our results from the first part of the INTenSE project.In order to provide recommendations to develop the toolkit within the INTenSE project, we conducted a literature review on the state of the art of international literature on self-experience and simulation practices. In addition, we conducted interviews with people with dementia, informal carers, and (healthcare) professionals to explore their experiences on the topic.We presented both approaches and some of the results in a poster and a short oral presentation at the conference and hope that this gave all interested parties an insight into the question "How can we put ourselves in the shoes of a person with dementia?”.

In addition, to the poster and oral presentation, we presented the INTenSE project during the INTERDEM session on “Training next generation in psychosocial care in dementia”. In this talk, Niels presented the project outline, the concept of self-experience and methods of self-experience and furthermore talks about the impression of the first INTenSE training held at DCU in Dublin. It was an interesting session, during which several educational initiatives for (future) professionals were presented.

International Silver Conference, Zamora

On Saturday 27thNovember we presented the INTenSE project during the International Silver Conference in Zamora, Spain. The project aims were presented, and also the concept of self-experience and methods to promote self-experience. There was interest in the project and also the web platform and what it could look like.

Multiplier event, Germany

The team of the Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg conducted two multiplier events to disseminate the INTenSE project work. One multiplier event took place within the institution itself. A second event was organized with an interested organization within their research network, a family center. This institution is responsible for a self-help group of people with dementia.

The participants of both multiplier events were researchers and professionals as well as people with dementia and their relatives.

At each of the two multiplier events we presented selected results of the first part of the INTenSE project, which we thought would be interesting for the individual target group. For example, at the second multiplier event with people with dementia and their informal caregivers we explained the findings on the needs and wishes of the people with dementia, that we identified in our interviews and literature research.

The fruitful exchange with both groups resulted in suggestions and ideas for implementation. In summary, the participants of the two multiplier events were very interested in the contents of our research project.

Looking forward…

In the upcoming year we will work on the co-design of the Dementia Simulation Toolkit, and the co-creation of the INTenSE web platform. In each partners’ country we will therefore organize three co-design workshops together with professionals, informal caregivers, and people with dementia. These workshops will run from January until march 2022.

We are looking forward to meeting everyone and learning about how to make our platform better for a wide range of perspectives.

Upcoming events:

· Transnational project meeting Halle, Germany

· Workshops co-design, January – March 2022

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