15. Au Fil de L’Age (‘In the Course of Age’), France

Where:  Saint Sauvent in the Maine et Loire region of France

Who is involved: Multidisciplinary team in the Champtoceaux community. Authorised by the Regional Health Agency and the General Council.

Nature of activity: ‘Au Fil de l’Age’ is a mobile day care service centred on people rather than buildings. This means that they welcome people with dementia in different locations according to the day of the week, and above all, locations that are public and accessible to all. They describe themselves as being mobile due to the fact that the day care service moves around different sites.

The venues are made available to individuals and groups, and therefore are not linked to medical services. This makes it easier for many people and their carers to access the day centre, as being in a neutral environment reduces anxiety linked to medical structures and makes processes easier.

They work closely with local authorities in order to identify the sites. They organise daily trips to business to purchase food for dinners, therefore establishing strong links with businesses and their customers. They want to foster social links and are also working with the area’s cultural centre. They see it as very important to maintain this link. They believe that they can change people’s perception of the illness through their work. For example, they participate every year in a poetry contest organised by an association. It is important for them to participate in local public life.

Having people with dementia occupying ordinary public spaces promotes a positive image of the illness.

Website: http://www.cc-cantonchamptoceaux.fr/pageLibre00010a6f.aspx