On December 2nd and 3rd (2020) the Kick-off meeting of the Erasmus+ INTenSE project was held with the participation of the representatives of each of the 5 consortium partners. The INTenSE project, acronym of “Improving demeNtia care Through Self-Experience”, aims to educate, equip and train health and social care professionals through open access innovative learning approaches and the use of ICT tools that explore the lived experience of the person with dementia.

Due to the COVID-19 situation the kick-off meeting was held online. During this two-day online meeting, the project partners introduced themselves and the project outline was discussed. In addition, the project partners talked about the next steps to be taken. The kick-off meeting was inspiring and fruitful.

The project activities

INTenSE will make integrated self-experience practices widely available via a training program for the current and next generations of dementia professionals. All project activities have been designed to successfully achieve the project objectives, as follows:

  1. Detailed scoping review of the state-of-the-art and focus groups to identify best practices of VDT, Role-plays and Theatre-laboratories, and the collection of transnational experience to inform the INTenSE e-booklet.
  2. Co-design and development of the INTenSE Dementia Simulation toolkit to simulate dementia symptoms and create empathy and real understanding as a means to change dementia care practice and to improve quality of care.
  3. Co-design of an ICT web platform as a tool for creating mutual learning through the exchange of experiences, fostering digital competences of professionals.
  4. Organization of the first INTenSE training, where 20 professionals will learn about self-experience practices through participatory design.
  5. Development of the second INTenSE training (20 participants) about the facilitation and use of the toolkit and platform by participants with colleagues in their own countries.

The role of the partners

The project involves five different partners that will organize focus groups with the socio-sanitary operators to identify their needs, as well as discuss and co-design the methodology and the instruments that the project aims at developing according to the co-design approach. Social IT (www.socialit.it/en), as project coordinator will ensure the coordination and the cooperation between the partners and as technical partner will be responsible for the development of the web platform. Martin-Luther Halle-Wittenberg University (www.uni-halle.de) will realize the e-booklet while Dublin City University (www.dcu.ie) will develop a toolkit composed of different practices and ICT tools. SPES Group (www.gruppospes.it) will bring deep knowledge and expertise in the field of the management of neuro-degenerative diseases including dementia and Maastricht University (www.maastrichtuniversity.nl) is responsible for dissemination and communication of the project and of the achieved results.

The next steps

After the kick-off meeting, the INTenSE project partners have been busy preparing a scoping review, and furthermore with organizing national focus group interviews. Each participating partner organizes several focus group interviews to discuss the concept of self-experience, and discuss experiences and perspectives. Both the review and input from the focus groups will be essential for the development of the INTenSE eBooklet.