Dementia uncovered

Poetry and film celebrate the connections between people living with dementia and their local community

Poetry and film helps people living with dementia share their stories and perspectives and gives valuable insights into what it means to live with dementia. They are ideal for building community connections.


Karen Hayes is an expert in developing poetry based on the words of people with dementia. We worked together to create poems with residents of a nursing home in St Austell, their carers and families and young people from the nearby secondary school. The poems reflect their experiences of living with dementia and what it has meant to connect with their communities through poetry.

Karen Hayes leads a poetry session with people living with dementiaClose up of an allium flower, many of the poems created with people with dementia were inspired by plants92 year old Ernie creating his poem

Many people with dementia experience social isolation, largely as a result of negative stereotypes. This approach is designed to help reduce isolation and connect people with their local places and communities. The poems are being used to improve understanding of dementia for those in early diagnosis, carers working in homes and in healthcare settings, young people as well as the wider public. They are helping to communicate the importance of supporting people with dementia through visits, social activities and involving them in community initiatives.

From poetry to film

How could people living with dementia share their poetry with their loved ones and the wider world? Make films.

We commissioned artists - Brett Harvey, Richard Liddicott, Andrew de Freitas, Paul Farmer, Daryl Waller, Ian Bucknole and Ruth Purdy - chosen for their innovative approach with digital media.

The films aim to improve understanding of dementia for people in early diagnosis, carers, friends, family and wider public.

You can watch the collection of short videos in the Dementia Uncovered film.

The Thing You Live

Do what you think
I am not with us.

I’ve not been out for a week
And I couldn’t wait to get back.

Do what you’ve got to do
As if they were ever kinder.

This one is chocolate,
This one is a scone.

I hope these roses are lovely
I hope they will cheer me up.

I am a silly old fool
My name is spelt with a L.I.F.E

Life. That’s my name.
It is that thing you live.

Doris Life