This episode involves a panel of 4 people talking about the importance of “Pumping Up the Volume” so that people with lived experience will have their voices heard. Panelists include advocates for people with dementia and care partners, our research associate and a dementia educator.
David Harvey hosts this podcast series for people with lived experience of dementia (either themselves or as a caregiver) to share stories to increase our collective understanding and insight about dementia.
The guests in this episode are Mary Beth Wighton, chairperson for the Ontario Dementia Advisory Group, Kathy Hickman, an education specialist for the Alzheimer’s Society of Ontario, Guy Chadsey, care partner to his wife who is living with dementia and Dr. Elaine Wiersma, professor at Lakehead University and lead researcher of The Mapping Project, which is the basis for this podcast.
Our panelists examine from each of their perspectives why it is so important for people living with dementia to achieve a stronger voice in the community. After receiving a dementia diagnosis at age 45, Mary Beth describes the first hurdle she encountered as no longer being identified as her own person or having her own voice. Those living with dementia must have their own voice in order for us to dismantle the societal stigma attached to it and to help meet their needs and the needs of their care partners. Elaine makes the point that very few other places in society let people speak on behalf of another adult. Only the people living with dementia can tell us what it’s like to live with dementia and what they need. They must be heard and they must be seen as right holders.
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