December 22, 2021
Happy Holidays and thanks to all of our listeners, contributors, and supporters.
We have assembled 3 series to help you celebrate this season - Ars, Spirituality, and Women & Dementia. Check out our website.
We look forward to bringing you many interesting and innovative episodes in Season 4.
December 3, 2021
Simon Law is an award-winning songwriter, producer, and performer with two Grammy awards. Not only is music a large part of Simon’s life, but it was also an important piece of his father’s life even after he was diagnosed with dementia. Simon’s father appreciated music and especially loved the sounds of the Caribbean. Simon and his father were able to stay connected through the music they enjoyed.
Simon reflects on his time working at the Dotsa Bitove Wellness Academy and making the documentary “Music is Life” https://youtu.be/6bfYnZTMFRc and speaks about his new pursuit with the Bitove Method www.thebitovemethod.com an online program.
The full version of “Try a Little Kindness” can be viewed at https://youtu.be/v7reLCS6Qq8. More information on Voices in Motion including a train the trainer program can be found at https://voicesinmotionchoirs.org and www.facebook.com/VoicesInMotionChoirs
The full version of “Music Takes You Higher” can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2HcRUEbJiM
The full documentary from which the final clip was taken can be found at “ The Intergenerational Choir Project - Alzheimer Society London and Middlesex” https://youtu.be/L5o3Nh6ydb
Other Canadian resources include:
The Toronto Recollective is a weekly musical group that helps people with a cognitive impairment gain a new social network, rediscover a sense of accomplishment and find joy through music-making. https://www.recolectiv.ca
Several Alzheimer Societies offer customized recorded music for people. You can learn more at https://musicproject.ca/
November 16, 2021
Rachel Bar, the Director of Research and Health and TCAS Postdoctoral Fellow at Canada’s National Ballet School in Toronto speaks with Lisa Loiselle about dance and movement for those living with dementia. Rachel speaks about her lifelong involvement in dance and as a professional ballet dancer, and how that took her down an academic path researching how dance affects the brain. That subsequently brought her to working with older adults and people living with dementia, artistically and through program development.
Sharing Dance Older Adults is a collaborative program between Baycrest and Canada’s National Ballet School that works to make dance accessible for older adults with various physical and cognitive abilities. There are several versions of this program: In Your Seat and On Your Feet. These variations focus on dance across the lifespan and creating a joyful human experience in an accessible way, including delivering a group program and an at-home version. There are so many reasons and ways to dance, and Rachel talks about how the Sharing Dance Older Adults program includes and considers them all. She also speaks about the benefits of dance and how it can challenge the stigma about dementia.
As this program has expanded and continues to find ways to be more accessible, an app was launched in April 2021 to provide meaningful programs for Canadians, with hopes to expand internationally in the future.
Journal article: Dancing With Dementia: Exploring the Embodied Dimensions of Creativity and Social Engagement (https://academic.oup.com/gerontologist/article/61/5/714/5903628) [see attached pdf]
link to the Sharing Dance site: https://oa.sharingdance.ca/
research project website: https://sdseniorsresearch.com/
November 2, 2021
In this new episode of our Arts & Dementia series, Lisa Loiselle and special co-host Cynthia Huling Hummel, speak with couple Lynda Everman and Don Wendorf about the importance of the expressive arts in self-care. Don describes expressive arts are esthetic or artsy that have the power to prompt emotions, to allow for an expression of emotions or an emotional reaction, to prompt memories and associations and allow some participation and sharing of that kind of experience with other people. It can be anything artistic like music, visual arts, writing and poetry. For Linda Everman, it is fabric arts like quilting and making stoles. Linda describes how the stole initiative began and how it has evolved into the writing of a book. For Don and Cynthia, music has allowed each of them to express themselves but also connect with others. Cynthia, Lynda and Don also speak about the enjoyment they get from their respective arts endeavours and how that has allowed them to continue to live well as a person with dementia and as care partners.
For more information go to the Arts & Dementia section of our resource page.
October 26, 2021
We want to hear from listeners, guest interviewees,
partners, and others about their experience of our
podcast and gather feedback on how we can improve.
Groups will be held virtually over Zoom.
Participants will receive sample episodes to listen to in advance.
The groups will take approximately 1 hour and will be
recorded but privacy is assured.
We are hoping to begin these in early to mid-November. If you are interested, please fill out our form here https://forms.gle/a7hPoS4MTQHx5ZTh6 or contact Dementia.Dialogue@lakeheadu.ca
To sign up: https://forms.gle/1jkTYQNbsgCXMy8v9
October 19, 2021
Arne Stinchcombe chats with researchers doing work with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and Two-Spirit (LGBTQ2+) persons with dementia and carers. Jason Flatt is an Assistant Professor in the Social and Behavioral Health Program at the University of Nevada (Las Vegas) School of Public Health. Jason discusses how he got involved in dementia research and some of the concerns of 2SLGBTQI+ persons with dementia in their caregivers. He also makes the case for why sexual and gender diversity are important considerations within dementia research.
Celeste Pang (Senior Research Officer, Egale Canada) and Ashley Flanagan (Research Fellow, National Institute on Ageing) are researchers working on a Canadian research project involving LGBTQ2+ persons living with dementia and their unpaid carers in Canada. We discuss some of the findings from their research project and their implications.
Both interviews reveal a need for specific initiatives to respond to this community's needs, especially in regards to caregivers.
October 5, 2021
This episode is the first in an 8-part series on the arts features a discussion on how the arts (in any form) can create a sense of community and belonging and builds relationships amongst participants. Host Lisa Loiselle talks with Lisa Meschino who has seen this first-hand during her work developing programs such as Gather at the Gallery and as an artist at the Dotsa Bitove Wellness Academy. Lisa holds a PhD in cognitive neuroscience and is a community-engaged visual artist and researcher living in Toronto. She has worked for many years creating art with people living with dementia and is developing an arts-based learning series in applied relational care at University Health Network (UHN), Toronto. She has unfortunately witnessed the stigma that continues to circulate in communities and discusses the importance of using the arts to help in the process of culture change.
About Meet Me at MoMA Program:
- Meet Me at MoMA website – Program Guide for home and community programs:
2. Meet Me at MoMA website - Pilot program and research document: https://www.moma.org/visit/accessibility/meetme/_assets/momaorg/shared/pdfs/docs/meetme/MeetMe_FULL.pdf
3. Rosenberg, Francesca (2009) 'The MoMA Alzheimer's Project: Programming and resources for making art accessible to people with Alzheimer's disease and their caregivers', Arts & Health, 1: 1, 93 — 97
About The Dotsa Bitove Wellness Academy:
- Mitchel, G.J., Dupuis, S.L., & Kontos, P.C. (2013). Dementia Discourse: From Imposed Suffering to Knowing Other-Wise. Journal of Applied Hermeneutics 2013 Article 5
- Mitchell, G.J., Jonas-Simpson, C., Richards, J., Brown, S., Bitove, V. (2019). Creating a relational arts-based academy for persons living with dementia. First Published December 24, 2019 Find in PubMed: https://doi.org/10.1177/1471301219895647
- Visual arts and transgenerational learning at the Bitove Academy: https://vimeo.com/540302311
- About the Bitove Academy: https://vimeo.com/50757222
Resources for this episode can be found under the following sections on our resource page:
-Arts & Dementia
September 8, 2021
In our podcast, a frequent message is the importance of people with dementia remaining active and involved with others. This is often easier said than done because of restricted options that people often experience or perceive. The Dementia Inclusive Choices for Exercise (DICE) project enables communities to be more inclusive so that people with dementia have more opportunities to be active.
Carole Johannesson lives with dementia and is a leader in a research project conducted by Laura Middleton, PhD at the University of Waterloo. Brian Johannesson has supported Carole’s participation. The project worked with both people with dementia and exercise providers to explore what inclusivity means and what providers need to possess or do, including understanding what dementia is and developing techniques to facilitate inclusion
Dementia Inclusive Choices for Exercise (DICE) has developed excellent resources for people with dementia and for exercise providers, including a 4-part training module to help exercise providers, sports coaches or recreational leaders gain the knowledge and skills to engage with people living with dementia and support them in physical activity. These can be accessed at www.dementiaexercise.com.
August 10, 2021
In this podcast, the Mersereau family shares their experiences with dementia. Clara and Bill live together in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Clara was diagnosed with dementia four years ago. Bill, her husband, supports her as they experience the joys, challenges, and everyday life with Clara’s diagnosis. Their two daughters, Jo-Ann (who lives in Thunder Bay) and Patty (who lives in Winnipeg) join in to share their experiences as daughters supporting their parents.
Services and research are often divided into focusing either on the people living with dementia or on the care partners. However, dementia affects not only individuals but family units as well. Dr. Elaine Wiersma interviews the Mersereau family to get their perspectives on how, as a family, they have learned to live with dementia and support each other along their journey. Poignant and touching, you will be inspired by their love for each other.
If your family would like support on your journey living with dementia, contact your local Alzheimer Society for information and resources.