Dementia is often not something young people think about, unless someone in their direct environment suffers from this condition. In order to create a Dementia Friendly Community, all members of society need to be included and educated, including our youngest members. A research collaboration in Penticton received the CARN Susan Noffke Award to study how to achieve Dementia friendliness in communities with an intergenerational approach.

 

People living with Alzheimer’s or Dementia often face a stigma, people see them as if they are unwell, can’t do things themselves anymore, or aren’t capable of making decisions. This is, of course, far from the truth. By educating and raising intergenerational awareness for what it like to live with Dementia, this research initiative is hoping to get one step closer to a Dementia Friendly Community in rural areas.

 

“The problem is that this stigma and discrimination heighten the already significant psychological, social, emotional, and financial impacts that dementia has on individuals, their care givers, families, and communities”, explains Barb Stewart, Program Manager for this Participatory Action Research Project. “This research project will include face-to-face community gatherings and video story-capturing events, full of youthful activity, good food and the music that those with dementia will remember.”

 

The Susan Noffke Award is a price awarded yearly by CARN (Collaborative Action Research Network). The Susan Noffke Award was established in memory of the distinguished action research scholar Susan Noffke (1949 – 2013) to support action research activities in economically disadvantaged regions. These awards reflect Susan’s commitment to social justice.

 

Those collaborating with the Medical Arts Health Research Group in the research project are: the University of British Columbia (Okanagan Campus), One-Sky, The Okanagan National Alliance, student and youth videographers, local musicians, chefs and historic sites.

 

We will be inviting in people with dementia and their caregivers and young adult students ages 18 to 28, to begin the trust building and relationship building between the generations that is so necessary.

 

If you are interested in participating in this project, please reach out to barbjstewart21@hotmail.com