Development of ‘Coping with dementia’ and ‘Living well with dementia’ DVDs

What was the issue you were addressing or working on?

To provide high quality information in the form of DVDs for people with dementia and their carers.

One important aspect to the support of people with dementia and their carers is the availability of high quality information. Scotland’s National Dementia Strategy (2010) and the ‘Standards of Care for Dementia in Scotland’ (2011) highlight the importance of information in improving understanding of the benefits of early diagnosis and support through all stages of the dementia journey.

What you did?

People with dementia and their carers were involved in the development of DVDs, sharing experience around how to ‘live well’ after diagnosis, providing hints and tips on self management, and offering information about where to go for support.  People from different backgrounds, ethnic groups and ages, voluntary organisations and professionals were consulted through workshops, DVD screenings and focus groups.  Two DVDs were produced: ‘Coping with dementia’ and ‘Living well with dementia’.  They are available in English (with or without subtitles) British Sign Language and in a number of community languages.  The English and BSL versions are available online through NHS Health Scotland YouTube channel. .

Alzheimer Scotland and the Scottish Dementia Working Group worked in partnership with NHS Health Scotland.

What were the outcomes - benefits or otherwise?

People have reported the benefits of hearing others in a similar situation describe their experiences.  The DVDs use the voices of people with dementia and carers to share experience around how to ‘live well’ after diagnosis of dementia, providing practical advice on what helps to live well with a diagnosis, and suggest where to go for further information.

During 2010-2012 over 1440 participants have either been directly involved in the development of the dementia DVDs or have attended thirteen local partnership dissemination launch events. Participants have included people with dementia, family carers, health and social care staff and representatives from the voluntary sector.  The events prompted other local NHS Health Boards to hold ‘mini-launches’ of the resource. Feedback from the thirteen launch events show that the DVD’s were positively received and increased awareness of services which can be accessed for support.

“Gran would watch it”

  “DVD is positive  – its ‘not the end of the world’ and shows that an independent life can be led”

“Visual, more engaged”

“Very positive to be encouraged to seek power of attorney in the DVD”

“Aware of more services”

“Dementia isn’t a negative thing – there are lots of positives and lots of agencies out there providing advice and support”

“I thought the DVD was super…any DVD which reflects people’s real life experiences and their own journey is always going to be helpful and informative”

Contacts - to find out more

Fiona Borrowman, Health Improvement Programme Manager, NHS Health Scotland, or

DVDs available to order from:

Publications Team
NHS Health Scotland
Woodburn House
Canaan Lane

Tel: 0131 536 5500
Textphone: 0131 536 5503
Fax: 0131 536 5501