Going back to school – An opportunity for lifelong learning for people with dementia in Denmark (Innovative practice)
The provision of lifelong learning for older people is often promoted as a way of engaging socially and maintaining cognitive function. The concept is also used with people with dementia, but is often limited to short-term programmes. Innovative practice from Denmark takes this concept further, offering people with early stage dementia the opportunity to return to school to attend classes in cognitive training, music, art and woodcraft. A pilot study conducted by the school of teaching and communication (Voksenskolen For Undervisning og Kommunikation) offers evidence for the benefits of prolonged educational programmes for people with dementia in maintaining decision-making, cognitive function and social interactions, with limited evidence of the impact on memory. Further evidence is required to understand the impact of a person with dementia attending school as a student and to understand if this concept is transferrable to a different cultural setting.