Posted
24th January 2018

St. James’s Hospital Dublin has received a European award for their work on “Wayfinding for people with dementia in a Dublin hospital”, which has been developed within the framework of the three-year 'DemPath' project, awarded funding through the HSE & Genio Dementia Programme. The hospital environment can often be overwhelming to navigate, especially for vulnerable patients such as people with dementia. The project worked collaboratively with people with dementia and key hospital personnel to develop clear and intuitive signage that not only enables people with dementia more easily navigate the hospital, but also offers a better experience for all patients, visitors and staff. The signage to date, has been installed in a large section of the hospital that specialises in care for older patients, with a view to rolling it out over time across the hospital campus.

Samples of wayfinding in the MISA building, St. James's Hospital, Dublin

Matthew Gibb and Natalie Cole, receiving their award on behalf of St. James's Hospital, Dublin.

On 23 January, the European Foundations’ Initiative on Dementia (EFID) awarded prizes to 12 initiatives in 10 European countries. The awards with the title “Valuing the expertise of people living with dementia” acknowledge the work of the 12 organisations in respecting the autonomy, dignity and right to self-determination of people living with dementia. The importance of listening to the voice of people living with dementia to value their expertise is prioritized in informing all of these initiatives. The 12 awardees were selected by an international jury from among ninety candidates and each will receive an award with a value of €9,000. 

Ireland was well-represented at the event with two awards, recognising the Alzheimer Society of Ireland and St. James’s Hospital Dublin. Alzheimer Society of Ireland proposed an advocacy campaign for 2018, “Forget the Stigma of Dementia – Learn Listen Link”. Helen Rochford Brennan, Chair of the European Working Group of People with Dementia and Chair of the Irish Dementia Working Group, delivered the keynote speech at the event.

The official prize ceremony took place in Sofia under the Bulgarian Presidency of the European Union as part of a two-day programme of workshops and networking with notable initiatives from previous years. 

The European Foundations’ Initiative on Dementia (EFID) is a collaboration platform initiated in 2010 by a group of European foundations in the context of the Network of European Foundations (NEF). The group comprises The Atlantic Philanthropies, Fondation Médéric Alzheimer, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Genio Trust and the King Baudouin Foundation.

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