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Meet the Researchers: Debra Sheets, University of Victoria

Meet the Researchers: Debra Sheets, University of Victoria

For people with dementia and their caregivers, it can be difficult to find activities that strike the right balance between being supportive, being socially appropriate and, of course, being fun. As the disease progresses and abilities change, it’s common for friends to withdraw and activities to start to fall away. A person is left with few things that can offer joy, a sense of purpose and human connection. I’ve seen this firsthand—my father had dementia for 18 years. As it…

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‘We have so much to learn from our grandparents’: A teen’s perspective on Alzheimer’s

‘We have so much to learn from our grandparents’: A teen’s perspective on Alzheimer’s

Marilyn Lemay loved the outdoors and would spend every waking moment there. Inherently creative, she crafted, embroidered, quilted and painted everything in sight. If you stand still for more than a moment, her 17-year-old granddaughter Deborah jokes, Marilyn just might paint you. Some of that changed eight years ago, when Marilyn was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Deborah’s grandfather Ron moved from their beloved Elliot Lake home to be closer to Deborah’s mother and family. Managing Marilyn’s care himself wasn’t an…

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Cracked: New Light on Dementia combines research, dementia and the arts

Cracked: New Light on Dementia combines research, dementia and the arts

In the spring and fall of 2013, I worked with a team of artists and researchers on the play Cracked: New Light on Dementia. I was brought onto the project because of my theatre background and because of my personal and professional experience working with people who have dementia. The play is intended to inspire alternative ways of seeing people living with dementia, instill the importance of maintaining strong relationships with them, and reinforce the imperative for good ethical care….

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