Maggie and Thomas had the opportunity to interview Ryan Glatt, Bsc. Exercise Science, NSCA-CPT. Ryan Glatt is a trainer and brain-health coach with over a decade of experience in the health & fitness industry. He currently works alongside clinicians and researchers to study the effects of cognitively-enhanced and comprehensive exercise plans at the Pacific Brain Health Center. Ryan has pursued education from the Amen Clinics, The BrainFirst Training Institute, the Neuroscience Academy, the Academy for Brain Health & Performance and, the Master's of Applied Neuroscience program at King's College of London.
By Thomas Baird LCSW, MDiv
In this space, we will regularly be sharing resources that we find may be helpful for caregivers. The content provided is intended for informational purposes only. The materials included do not constitute an endorsement of the authors or their materials by Awkward Story.
The Dementia Action Alliance created a podcast entitled This Dementia Life, which features full interviews with individuals living with dementia. These brave individuals share about their experiences, their perceived limitations, and their desire for some independence. The DAA advisory board includes several individuals diagnosed with forms of dementia, all who serve as advocates for those living with cognitive impairment.
As someone who has spent time working in disability services, I was encouraged by the language used on the DAA website, which speaks of empowering individuals impacted by dementia. The website proclaims that the DAA will:
"advocate for inclusion and accommodating dementia as a disability needing compensatory strategies for changing abilities; promote person- and relational-centered care practices; identify beneficial technologies; and connect and engage people as much more can be accomplished working together."
I have occasionally told my colleague Maggie that the field of dementia care is occasionally "catching up" to the field of disability services in the U.S., in that many disability service agencies have spent the past 30 years striving to honor personhood, autonomy, and individuality in individuals that might be non-verbal, less responsive, and experiencing complex medical concerns. Disability advocates have had practice promoting value and dignity in every interaction they have with individuals living with disabilities.
We were recently contacted by Josh, a student at the University of Chicago, asking whether we could help him reach dementia caregivers for a survey on how technology can best meet dementia care needs. The survey is anonymous (unless you want to be considered for a gift card, in which case they ask for your email). We are including a link to the survey below, along with a message from Josh. The survey does include hypothetical questions about what caregivers would be willing to pay, and Josh explains that this is done to gauge how accessible new technologies would be to most caregivers.
If you wish, you can access the survey by pressing on the button below.
Please watch MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Dr Anne Basting speak on connecting with individuals living with dementia.
Thomas Baird LCSW
Maggie Dawson MSW