Focus: Communications - Site Visit - www.alzheimersforum.org

The Alzheimer's Forum is a unique website set up by members of the West Kent branch of the Alzheimer's Society. It is run by people with dementia for people with dementia, allowing them to share their thoughts and communicate with others from around the world.

Last month, the forum was one of 30 online initiatives to receive an AOL Innovation in the Community Award. The award includes £2,000 and a year's free broadband subscription.

Main pages

The product of a small group of people who have been meeting weekly since 2000, the site is impressive for its innovation and achievement rather than any ground-breaking examples of web design. The homepage is functional and clear, allowing users to access relevant and interesting information.

For anyone wanting to know more about living with dementia or Alzheimer's, the forum also provides a link to the homepage of the Alzheimer's Society.

Special features

The real beauty of the site lies in the participation of those living with dementia. For example, the forum includes an extremely useful section called Predicament of the Month, in which visitors relate their own experiences of specific problems, such as coping with anxiety or telling their families that they have the condition. The Contributions from Friends page acts as an arena for those who have specific tales to tell, thoughts to share or problems to air.

The Alzheimer's Forum says:

"We are delighted that our work has been recognised, and hope that this award will allow us to spread the word about the Alzheimer's Forum so that more people with dementia can benefit from the site and communicate with each other."

Site visit is by Tony Hodson

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