The European project E.L.So.M.C.I., funded by the Erasmus+ programme, which started in September 2020, is coming to an end. E.L.So.M.C.I. aims to stimulate cognitive functions and promote psychological well-being and socialisation of people with MCI (Mild Cognitive Impairment) through English language teaching workshops using an innovative song-based educational method.
MCI is considered an intermediate stage between a condition of normality and a condition of pathology – dementia. The person with MCI has some cognitive deficits that do not significantly impact his or her autonomy in performing daily activities. MCI is an important risk factor for the development of dementia or may represent its pre-clinical stage, although it should be considered that not all people with MCI will develop dementia: some may remain stable within this condition, and others may return to a normal condition. Cognitive stimulation through enjoyable and engaging activities and workshops, which can also positively influence people with MCI’s mood, can act significantly on the course of the disease, delaying or reducing the risk of reaching dementia ultimately. The materials developed within the E.L.So.M.C.I. project move precisely in this direction. The first project result was the development of a Methodological Guide dedicated to professionals to enable as many people as possible to learn the methodology behind these workshops, as well as to provide them with all the materials they need to replicate the English language teaching workshops through the use of songs. Each partner also conducted a pilot of these workshops within its own national context, obtaining excellent results and positive feedback from all the participants involved. Finally, an online course dedicated to professionals was made available free of charge in order to enable them to acquire more in-depth knowledge on the subject. All the materials developed within this project will remain available to all those interested even after the end of the project.
E.L.So.M.C.I.- MULTIPLIER EVENTS
Between January and February 2023, each E.L.So.M.C.I. partner organised a closing event in its national context to present the project results to interested professionals, inviting distinguished speakers to present research, projects and innovations in the field of cognitive stimulation and MCI.
In Greece, a very successful multiplier event was held in Thessaloniki, organised by the project coordinator, Alzheimer Hellas Association. The event was in the margin of the 13th Panhellenic Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders and the 5th Mediterranean Conference on Neurodegenerative Diseases, and 20 professionals participated physically and 21 more participated online. Four women with MCI, who took part in the E.L.So.M.C.I. workshops, came to the event and shared their experiences.
In Italy, the event was organised in Modena by the NGO Anziani e Non Solo and involved 18 professionals. The event was moderated by the Anziani e non solo’s president, Dr. Licia Boccaletti, who first gave the floor to Dr. Morena Pellati, a geriatrician at the Reggio Emilia AUSL, who illustrated the current panorama of knowledge on MCI and how this condition differs from dementias, then Drs. Sara Beccati, Rebecca Vellani and Rita Seneca presented the Italian results of the E.L.So.M.C.I. project. The event then proceeded with the presentation of three projects related to cognitive stimulation for people with cognitive impairment or dementia: the English language teaching project for people with cognitive impairment led by Dr. Eugenia Rafaniello, the European project SOUND presented by coordinator Dr. Sara Santini on behalf of INRCA and the Danzarte project presented by Eugenia Coscarella, Lavanderia a Vapore, Zaira Feroldi and Korian.
Spominčica Alzheimer’s Association Slovenia organised the multiplier event at the National Gallery in Ljubljana on 14 February 2023, involving 99 participants. The event started with an opening speech by the Spominčica Alzheimer Slovenia’s president, then the psychiatrist dr. Polona Rus Prelog had spoken on cognitive decline, communication tips and prevention of dementia, and finally, David Krivec from Spominčica presented the work, intellectual outputs, materials and workshops carried out in E.L.So.M.C.I. project accordingly
The Spanish association AFAV (Asociación Familiares Alzheimer Valencia) organised a conference entitled “Innovative methodologies for cognitive stimulation of people with mild cognitive impairment” with the aim of presenting the results of the project to students, professionals and researchers working in the field of ageing. The event took place on Friday, 20 January, in the Assembly Hall of the Faculty of Psychology and Speech Therapy of the University of Valencia (UV) and was attended by professionals from the academic world and professionals in the field of cognitive accessibility, who discussed the benefits of cognitive stimulation for people with MCI and people with some form of dementia. The conference was attended by a large number of professionals, students and researchers related to the field of dementia.
The closing event “Active Ageing – Modern Interventions to Delay Dementia”, organised in Croatia by the psychiatric hospital Klinika za psihijatriju Vrapce, was very well attended by health professionals. In fact, thanks to this event, 100 professionals learned about the methodology and materials of the E.L.So.M.C.I. project. All participants appreciated the event, and most of them expressed the desire to replicate the workshops within their own organisational context.
If you want to learn more about the project and the next steps you can visit the website https://www.songsforcare.eu or follow us on the most popular social networks with #songs4care #songs4careproject.
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