Empowered Conversations offers participants an opportunity to pause and reflect on relationships, how they communicate and explore different approaches to connecting with people living with dementia.
The course helps people living with dementia and their carers (family or professional) to find ways to stay connected, handle emotional stress and navigate the day together.
This course isn’t just tips and tricks – real life isn’t like that. Empowered Conversations is a real approach that looks at how our emotions, thinking and attitude can transform the quality and enjoyment of communicating with people with dementia.
The course has been informed by a combination of influences including perceptual control theory and mentalization. You can see a selection of our published research papers by clicking here.
Empowered Conversations has been developed by Six Degrees Social Enterprise over the past 5 years to provide a new approach to communication training.
Over the past three years the Institute of Dementia at the University of Salford have been our key research partner through a knowledge transfer partnership and the Big Lottery Family Carer project.
Empowered Conversations is for family carers, friends or relatives and those working in a professional capacity with people living with dementia. We currently have funding to deliver the course for free to family carers across Greater Manchester. For professionals we can offer tailored and flexible courses to meet the needs of your organisation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your needs.
We are very proud that our Empowered Conversations team has grown over the past two years. We have recruited and trained a wide range of facilitators who have had direct experience of dementia. Within the team we have Emma, Paul, Margaret, Barbara, Clare, Natalie, Jen and Phil who either facilitate or support the delivery of our courses. Click here to meet the team.
The Empowered Conversations course can be delivered flexibly, from 4 x 2.5 hour sessions for family carers through to 1 day for professionals. The course gives practical ways to connect and stay connected, in a relaxed and safe environment. The sessions will use discussions, group work, real life examples and sharing stories to explore, reflect and learn as a group.
Throughout the course we’ll be encouraging people to be curious in how they approach communication and to tune in to what is going on for the person living with dementia.
Empowered Conversations helps you to:
- Pause – to consider what it feels like to talk to someone with dementia and how it might feel for the person with dementia talking to us.
- Reflect – on the feelings our relationships generate, how these impact on communication, the barriers that may prevent us from having conversations and the importance of non-verbal communications.
- Reconnect – using simple tips that help us to break down those barriers and stay connected.
There are four, 2.5 hour sessions for family carers which are delivered in centres across Greater Manchester.
We know that the pressures of caring may make attending all four sessions difficult but as the course covers different subjects each week, if you can attend all four you will get more from the course.
The course provides carers with 4 sessions where they can pause life, reflect on their relationships and consider how they communicate.
From discussions with a whole range of carers we know that carers will take different things from Empowered Conversations. From the peer support of being with carers in similar positions, to the daily breathing exercise to check in with your emotions through to new approaches around communication.
“Thank you for running such a wonderful course – it was brilliant, so useful and informative. It has really helped me in terms of supporting and communicating with Mum. Big thank you for that.” – Marie
We recognise that quite often a person living with dementia has made all the changes they can possibly make to live as well as they can. This course provides family carers with a safe environment where they can explore their relationships, emotions and possible changes they can make around communication to stay connected with their loved ones.
Carers will be encouraged throughout the course to consider what is going on for the person with dementia.
“I feel the course has helped me to understand and control my emotions and frustrations and have a better understanding of mum’s feelings and motivations for certain behaviours. I have had some more successful conversations with my mum after the course and can sympathise more with how difficult it must be for my mum in certain situations.” – Sarah
Empowered Conversations workshops are delivered across Greater Manchester in local, accessible community settings.
We are always interested to talk with people who would like to help us to set up a course in a specific area or for a carers group, please email email@example.com
We realise that dementia will affect the whole family but recommend family carer participants are over 18.
The Courses are free for family carers. Six Degrees Social Enterprise has secured Big Lottery funding to deliver Empowered Conversations – free for family carers – across Greater Manchester over the next year and a half.
Professional carers would need to pay and can email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss this further.
Yes – we are always looking out for people who can help us to set up a course, please contact Emma – email@example.com
This will vary for everyone but generally by week 3 and 4 people report that they have tried something that has made a positive difference. This may be just introducing time for themselves through the breathing exercise, it may be they ask less questions or that they are able to consider what is going on for the person living with dementia.
Absolutely! We encourage people to share their learning with others, this could be links to some of the films we watch or discussions around how people can connect in a different way with the person living with dementia.
This is just a short course focused on communication. It can and does help, sometimes just hearing somebody else say they feel frustrated, angry and then guilty can normalise these emotions for people.
If carers feel they need more support they should contact their local services e.g. Dementia Support Services – Age UK Salford 0161 7282001
On the course we provide you with a range of resources. We are also building up a page of resources for the website. Please follow the link to Empowered Conversations Library.
We are currently setting up a pilot Secret Facebook group for carers who have attended the course to enable them to continue having a conversation, offer support to one another and get input from the Empowered Conversations team as well.