INTERDEM Academy Masterclass + HOMEDEM

On Tuesday, October 3rd, the INTERDEM Academy Masterclass took place. This collaborative event with HOMEDEM focused on connecting and designing for people with dementia. The day kicked off at 9:30 am, at the LUCA campus in Genk, with a warm welcome from Niels Hendriks and a short introduction to INTERDEM from Fania Dassen.

At 10 am, Niels Hendriks and Andrea Wilkinson started the first lecture. They delved into the challenges and, more importantly, the opportunities of participatory design involving people with dementia. The dynamic between Niels and Andrea was good and their engaging storytelling made the presentation easy to follow.

Following a brief coffee break, Chantal van Audenhove took the stage to discuss participation with individuals with dementia from the perspective of healthcare professionals. She emphasized the significance of shared decision-making, shedding light on the vital role it plays in the care journey.

Hereafter, it was time for the lunch break, and lasagna was served. During the break, there was an opportunity to mingle with fellow attendees of the Masterclass. After enjoying a piece of lasagna and taking a group photo, the last presentation of the day was about to begin. This presentation was given by Pia Kontos, who had traveled all the way from Canada to Genk. Pia Kontos shared her insights on the use of dance and breaking the stigma surrounding dementia. It was inspiring to see people with dementia in care facilities having fun and dancing enthusiastically together.

The day ended with the documentary ‘Lost in Memories’ by Ruud Lenssen. In this documentary, Ruud Lenssen captures the journey of dementia and caregiving for his parents. This documentary was impressive and moving to watch, I think all attendees would agree. Ruud Lenssen was also present to answer questions and engage in discussion afterwards. The documentary can be watched here.

All in all, it was a long but very interesting day in which we learned a lot about participating, connecting, and designing together with people with dementia. Thank you for organizing this day and giving us the opportunity to attend!

(link to documentary;

Written by PhD student Maud Ritzen from Alzheimer Centre Limburg, Maastricht University, YOD-included consortium.