THUNDER BAY -- Lakehead University’s Centre for Education and Research on Aging and Health is receiving more than $127,000 to market and grow a podcast about dementia, thanks to the Government of Canada’s Dementia Community Investment fund.
“One of the greatest tools that we have to combat stigma and discrimination is stories,” said Dr. Elaine Wiersma, Director, Centre for Education and Research on Aging and Health.
“Dementia Dialogue offers opportunities to listen to the stories of people living with dementia and care partners, thereby challenging stigma, misunderstandings, and stereotypes.
“Listening to the voices of those living with dementia and their supporters is one important way that we can change the dominant narrative of dementia as solely of loss and sadness, and subsequently, ensure that people living with dementia are treated with respect and dignity, and that we can create a fully inclusive society,” she said.
David Harvey, host of the Dementia Dialogue Podcast Network, said listeners range from people living with dementia to those caring for someone with the disorder.
“We want to hear their lived experiences,” he said. “Our goal is to strengthen the voice of people with dementia in speaking to each other and to the broader society – which often overlooks people with dementia.”
Harvey said the podcast would increase people's understanding of the dementia experience, to improve coping and self-care strategies for people with lived experience as well as caregivers, and it will help reduce stigma.
“If they themselves have the condition or are in a relationship with someone who does, perhaps through listening they may gain greater insight into their own experience and feel less isolated,” Harvey said. “As well, peer participation in interviews will demonstrate the continuing abilities of people, post-diagnosis.”
Funding will help CERAH increase production, enhance marketing, reach more regions, produce French episodes, and engage diverse communities.