Listen Up!

These two dementia-related podcasts should be on your playlist

From left: Beth Mansell, Heather Barnhouse and Johnna Lowther.

From left: Beth Mansell, Heather Barnhouse and Johnna Lowther.

Life with Dementia

By Mae Kroeis

Life with Dementia, which first aired in January 2019, is a podcast run by the Dementia Association for Awareness and Support, a registered charitable non-profit organization. 

Each 30-minute episode features a guest’s experience with dementia. Guests can include people living with dementia, care partners and spouses, and researchers and physicians. 

Information from the podcast includes tips based on the personal experiences of people living with, or caring for someone with, dementia, as well as insights from research and more. 

Who is behind it?

The Edmonton-based Dementia Association for Awareness and Support is run by a triad of women connected by their passion for providing support services for family caregivers of people with dementia. 

The non-profit includes Johnna Lowther, who has worked in recreation therapy in aging services for over 20 years and spearheads and hosts the podcast; Beth Mansell, who has personal and professional experience with dementia through her work with Sage Seniors Association; and Heather Barnhouse, a lawyer who is also a caregiver to a family member living with dementia.

Why is it important?

Lowther believes that people living with dementia and their care partners should feel empowered to live a better life and that the Life with Dementia podcast can help. 

“I hope it will change the lived experience of someone living with this disease. For that to happen, it requires us as a society, community or individual to learn techniques to better support those people or their caregivers,” says Lowther.

Lowther invites listeners to share their feedback, topic ideas or guest suggestions through the podcast’s social media pages on Twitter and Facebook to make sure the podcast serves the listeners’ needs.

Listen at thedementiapodcast.org, @thedementiapod

Dementia Dialogue

By Victoria Lessard

Based out of Ontario, Dementia Dialogue is a podcast for and about people living with dementia and their care partners. It provides an intimate perspective of the experience.

David Harvey.

David Harvey.

Who is behind it?

David Harvey, the podcast’s producer and host, and former chief of policy and programs at the Alzheimer Society of Ontario, first formulated the idea when he was collaborating on a research project called “Mapping the Dementia Journey.” The project was a joint effort between a team of researchers led by Dr. Elaine Wiersma and the Alzheimer Society of Ontario. Its goal was to create an outline of the significant points of the dementia experience as divided into four main categories: changing and adapting, the system journey, relationships and community, and focusing on me.

Why is it important?

 “The human voice is a powerful instrument of communication. There’s an intimacy and a strength,” says Harvey. “One of the things I like about the podcast is that it’s relatively easy for people to do. You can [listen to] it while you’re going somewhere, or you might be waiting for somebody. People can play it and replay it, so if you don’t grasp the point the first time, then you can listen to it again. That’s particularly important for people that might have some cognitive impairment.”

What will I hear?

In September 2018, Dementia Dialogue made its debut. The first season is six episodes long, each episode about 20 minutes in length, and explores the theme “changing and adapting”— one of the four components of the “Mapping the Dementia Journey” project.

Keep an eye out for the next season, which debuts this fall and focuses on “the system journey,” looking at key interactions with health-care and social service systems. [ ]

Listen at dementiadialogue.ca