Dementia disorders slowly erode people’s ability to understand and perform everyday tasks, creating new and unexpected challenges for families. One of the best sources of information and support about life with dementia is other family caregivers, whose experience and advice is now available in a new video series called ‘Sharing the Journey: Practical Approaches to Caring for a Loved One With Dementia.’
Family caregivers and medical experts share their experiences and advice in this collection of short videos, which include dramatizations to demonstrate common solutions for problems like wandering or confusion.
“Caregivers said ‘Show us what to do, don’t just tell us,’” said Sandra Somers, a recently retired Senior’s Health nurse with Island Health and clinical advisor to the project. “By involving caregivers in every part of the production and using actors to dramatize common scenarios, we were able to identify the most important issues for caregivers and really show how to deal with them.”
Family caregivers, who acted as both advisors and participants in the video series, were integral to the project. “We called this series ‘Sharing the Journey’ because it really is built on enabling caregivers to share their lived experiences to help other families like theirs,” said Somers. “These videos will help a lot of families, and we have these caregivers to thank for that.”
Creation of the videos was supported by the Alzheimer Society of B.C. “Being able to provide practical, meaningful education and resources to people on the dementia journey is at the core of our work,” says Maria Howard, CEO, Alzheimer Society of B.C. “Having the opportunity to work with Island Health on this project shows us what is possible when we all work together to build a dementia-friendly province.”
The Victoria Hospitals Foundation provided $80,000 to support the project. “We are proud to support tools for families who are caring for loved ones experiencing dementia. This series will give important wisdom and a reminder that you are not alone,” said Melanie Mahlman, President & CEO, Victoria Hospitals Foundation.
The 18-part video series, called ‘Sharing the Journey: Practical Approaches to Caring for a Loved One With Dementia’, is available to view online at: www.IslandHealth.ca/dementia-videos.
About Island Health:
Island Health provides health care and support services to more than 793,000 people on Vancouver Island, the islands in the Salish Sea and the Johnstone Strait, and mainland communities north of Powell River. With more than 21,000 staff and over 2,000 physician partners, 6,000 volunteers, and the dedicated support of foundations and auxiliaries, Island Health delivers a broad range of health services, including: Public health services, primary health care, home and community care, mental health and addictions services, acute care in hospitals, and much more across a huge, geographically diverse region.
About the Victoria Hospitals Foundation:
The Victoria Hospitals Foundation works in partnership with Island Health to enable donations to every area of care at Royal Jubilee, Victoria General and Gorge Road hospitals. In 2017/18, we raised more than $12 million for 100+ pieces of urgently needed medical equipment and special projects that help these hospitals provide care to all 767,000 residents of Vancouver Island. Since 1989, the Victoria Hospitals Foundation has raised more than $140 million to benefit our hospitals. For more information, call the Foundation at 250- 519-1750 or visit www.victoriahf.ca.
About the Alzheimer Society of B.C.:
Families across British Columbia are affected by Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. The Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s vision is a world without Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, and that world begins with a more dementia-friendly society, where people affected by dementia are acknowledged, supported and included. Working in communities throughout the province, the Society supports, educates and advocates for people with dementia, as well as enabling research into the disease. As part of a national federation, the Society is a leading authority on the disease in Canada.