This weekend I’ve been at the 8th National Dementia Research Forum in Brisbane, listening to a range of speakers discussing topics about research, knowledge translation, dementia and sexuality, education and intellectual reserve, and quality of life and flourishing. It has been enlightening and a refreshing, albeit tiring experience that was held at QUT, a fabulous university campus in the heart of Brisbane.
Many people attend not just to learn, but to network with colleagues, peers and researchers to enhance their own professional or academic spaces. I have enjoyed doing this too, as I have met a number of new researchers, as well as a number of people with dementia who are interested and keen to become involved as consumers with Alzheimer’s Australia And in their own communities. It is an exciting time for PWD to have their voices heard.
The one thing I found very difficult was and is remembering who I have met, and the business cards I now have in my possession mostly mean very little to me as iI cannot put a face to many of them. If they had photos on their cards, I would have a greater chance to recall who they are and what they do, one of the reasons I love social media like Facebook.
At the next conference, I must remember to write a short bio on the back of each business card I take, otherwise the networking I do is a waste of time. I found this in London last year, the very reason I added a photo to my business cards and email footer, and whilst people I suggest it to say they think it is a brilliant idea, as yet, no one has done it. Dementia friendly communities obviously still have a long way to go…