The ADI International Conference attracts a unique audience with delegates from around the world with a wide variety of backgrounds; medical professionals, persons with dementia and their carers. The challenge is to create a mixed interactive programme that is user-friendly, enables the ‘community feel’ that ADI strives for, but also provides a broad appeal from a mixed audience.
From the outset, a person with dementia was appointed to the organising committee which gave valuable insights and helped to develop an innovative programme. In the exhibition hall, alongside the traditional exhibition, a ‘to scale’ apartment with dementia enabling design was constructed. Inside, design ideas and assistive technology were displayed that could be easily adapted for someone living at home with dementia. Delegates were immersed into the garden experience and shown how sensory stimulation could have therapeutic benefits to people with dementia. A sensory bush garden was designed to stimulate the senses and evoke memories through smell, sound, movement as well as vision. The ADI 2015 Conference was attended by 1100 delegates and included more people with dementia than any previous conference. The theme ‘Care, Cure and the Dementia Experience’ was fully reflected in the solution provided with the conference cited as the most interactive and engaging ADI conference ever.