The dementia school is based on Linda Buettner and Suzanne Fitzimmons project “Health promotions for individuals with early stage dementia.” Buettner and Fitzimmons project was based on a 12-week training course for people with early stage dementia. The project showed that increased knowledge, physical and mental activity, establishment of safety measures, reduction of stress, recreation and social community as well as personalized follow-up are effective means of improving quality of life and well-being for people with early stage dementia.
With prestigious European Union funding, the dementia school is now being taken out into the world and will be continued in 2019 in a new study called “Self-management and HeAlth Promotion in early-stage dementia with e-learning for carers – A randomized controlled trial – SHAPE.”
In an international collaboration, SESAM now extends the concept and includes health promotion measures and coping combined with e-learning for carers. Together with researchers from the University of Exeter and the London School of Economics & Political Science in England, the University of New South Wales in Australia and the National Centre for Aging and Health, researchers at SESAM now have the opportunity to take their work with the dementia school several steps further. The study will be repeated in Slovenia and Austria to ensure that it can be transferred to and used in several countries.