It's time for a 24-hour, seven-day, seven-day-a-week TV channel specifically designed for people living with dementia.
A channel that caters to the whole spectrum of dementia. A channel that addresses our unique needs and challenges.
A channel that informs, entertains, and educates.
Think about it.
There are currently over 900,000 people living with dementia in the UK. Add carers, family and loved ones, and you have a MASSIVE potential audience.
Ideas for content:
Just imagine what could be achieved:
Singing for the Brain - Karaoke-style singalongs you can take part in from your own home.
Dementia News: What's going on in the world of dementia. Global, regional and local events, opportunities, and features.
Keep fit online: Chairobics, yoga, you name it. Health and well-being are SO important, and many people can't travel to attend sessions.
Webinars: Why not a little live streaming of engaging webinars?
Quizzes and gameshows: Nostalgia-related quizzes to keep our brains active.
Carers Corner: Hints, tips and support for carers, families and friends.
Gadget news: What's new in the world of gadgets that might benefit people in the dementia community and help us live better and more independently?
Minority Interest Slots: Time for our Asian, Afro-Caribbean, Traveller, LGBQT+ and other diverse friends to address their particular concerns and reminisce.
Nostalgia: Old TV and music to entertain and bring back memories, nominated and voted for by members of the dementia community.
Documentaries: There are so many people making great documentaries about dementia.
I'm sure you could add many other programming ideas to my quick, rough list, and I'm eager to hear your ideas. Please leave your comments, and I'll reply to them.
Here are some potential advantages:
Tailored programming can be designed to provide cognitive stimulation without overwhelming people with dementia. This might include visually engaging content, simple narratives, and memory-triggering shows.
Content could be curated to evoke positive emotions and memories, promoting well-being. Music, familiar faces, and nostalgic footage would create a positive emotional experience.
Programming can include elements of reminiscence therapy by showcasing historical footage, cultural events, and images from the past. This will help us connect with our memories and experiences and stimulate conversation.
A dedicated TV channel would provide a consistent and predictable source of entertainment, contributing to establishing a daily routine for people with dementia. Predictability can help us reduce our confusion and disorientation.
Family and Social Connection:
The channel can serve as a platform for families and caregivers to connect with individuals with dementia through shared viewing experiences. It can also provide an opportunity for reminiscing together, fostering social interactions.
The TV channel would offer valuable support for caregivers by providing a tool for engagement and relaxation for their loved ones. Caregivers may find it helpful to have a resource that contributes positively to the overall well-being of the person with dementia while educating and informing THEM.
The channel would be designed with consideration for the specific sensory and cognitive challenges faced by people with dementia. Simple navigation, clear visuals, and easily understandable content would enhance accessibility.
The creation of a TV channel for people with dementia could contribute to the formation of a supportive community. It could serve as a platform for sharing experiences, resources, and information related to dementia care.
Education and Awareness:
The channel could be used as an educational tool, raising awareness about dementia, its symptoms, and available support services. This would contribute to reducing stigma and promoting a better understanding of dementia within society.
In summary, a TV channel tailored for individuals with dementia will positively impact our overall well-being, providing cognitive stimulation, emotional support, and a sense of connection with the world around us. It will also serve as a resource for carers, care homes and professionals.
Who would host a Dementia TV Channel, and how would it be financed?
I've given this considerable thought, and these are my initial conclusions.
The channel should be aimed at a UK audience.
It should be broadcast on the Freeview platform to guarantee maximum reach.
It should be "owned" by a selection of UK dementia charities and run by a Board of Directors that includes people with lived experience.
It should be funded by donations and targeted advertising by selected partners. We in the dementia community are consumers, too - and very numerous and powerful ones. We have MASSIVE spending power, and we want and deserve the opportunity to learn more about goods and services that might benefit us. And yes. That includes care homes, respite and funeral plans. We don't need wrapping in cotton wool. We have capacity!
The channel would be a vehicle for dementia charities, NHS and others to get their messages across to an audience of an unprecedented size. The very thought of what could be achieved is mind-boggling!
Making it happen:
But how do we make it happen?
Well, over to you. Can anyone help me assemble an open forum to discuss potential collaboration and explore how to make this happen?
If we don't build it, somebody else will, and, sure as shooting, it won't be as good as something we make and control ourselves.
Please be brave.
Please consider the opportunities and don't fear the risks - they can be mitigated.