We know that family care partners, people with lived dementia experience, and dementia advocates are a treasure trove of ideas for improving the lives of people living with dementia. Sometimes, however, it can be tricky to translate those ideas into a format that can be utilized by others. But it’s incredibly important— especially to us at Maude’s Awards.
Our mission is to “enrich the quality of life for persons living with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias and their care partners—celebrating and inspiring innovative practices of care and sharing these practices with the wider dementia care community.” Sharing is at the heart of what we do!
And in our award application, we generally ask applicants about their program or innovation: “How can this be replicated by others? What guidance/resources do you have in place to assist others to implement this innovation?”
While many of you are coming up with amazing ways to share your innovations with people making a difference in dementia, we also know that some of you are just getting started with your idea, and could benefit from some inspiration on how to make your innovation available and accessible to others in the dementia care community. Here are our top 5 ideas for sharing your program or practice:
Toolkits & Templates
Could your innovation involve multiple resources, documents, or templates that learners can use? Then a toolkit or template set might be a great way to go. A toolkit, or set of digital resources (such as documents, forms, lists, guides, instructions) can be offered easily via a website or sent over email. They don’t need to be fancy– simple documents created in Word or Google Docs can be easy to create and accessible to many people.
Example: 2021 Maude’s Awards winner Giving Voice Initiative provides an online learning community with a free toolkit and additional resources providing a step-by-step “how to” guide for anyone interested in starting and running successful Alzheimer’s and dementia- friendly choruses in other communities.
How-To-Guides, Handbooks & Ebooks
This is a great option for anyone who wants to share a lot of information easily, in a way that allows the learner to proceed at their own pace. If you can write out your guide or ebook as a document and then export it as a PDF, you’ll be able to share it easily via email or a website. And if you really want to level up your guide or ebook, consider using a design program like Canva to create a visually appealing document, or even work with a graphic designer.
Example: Maude’s Awards takes our own advice on this suggestion! Each year we produce a Handbook of Innovations (in both print and digital PDF versions) featuring that year’s winners and other notable innovations. We find that it’s a wonderful way to get the word out about all of the incredible innovations that the dementia care community is creating.
Websites & Social Media
A website can be a simple way to allow your information, program, or product to be available to a wide range of people. There are a wide variety of do-it-yourself website tools, and a simple website with 1-3 pages can often be sufficient for your needs, especially if your program or practice is just getting started.
Similarly, a social media account focused on your program and innovation can allow you to potentially reach a significant audience, on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok. If you are comfortable creating regular content, whether posts or short-form video, about your innovation, and you enjoy sharing your ideas with others online, this could be a good fit for you.
Example: 2022 Maude’s Award winner Hailey Richman maintains a website for her “Puzzle Time” Kid Caregivers program, where she provides updates on their program, provides resources for kids to learn more about Alzheimer’s and dementia, and offers ways to get involved with Puzzle Time.
Workshops, Classes & Events
If you’re someone whose practice can benefit from teaching or guiding learners directly, consider offering in-person or Zoom (online) workshops, classes, or seminars. For greater reach, consider partnering with a local dementia organization to offer your event to their audience or followers, or offering an event via a local community center or faith organization in your area.
Example: 2022 Maude’s Award winner Elderwise offers an online course on Elderwise Spirit-Centered Care®.
We hope this helps inspire you to share your dementia care innovation with the world!