A ‘novel-la’ way to educate families about dementia

Here’s my latest article on McKnight’s Long-Term Care News:


A ‘novel-la’ way to educate families about dementia

As I’ve mentioned in past columns, delivering high quality care for residents and their families means accepting our role not only as care providers but also as educators throughout the process.

This often involves teaching family members about illnesses so that they can become strong members of the treatment team, rather than bringing sweets to someone with diabetes or inadvertently agitating a resident with dementia.

As anyone who’s visited a doctor knows, however, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and to have the information presented by the medical professional blur so that it sounds like a Charlie Brown cartoon teacher declaring, “Wa wa wa wa, wa wa wa wa wa wa.”

I recently learned of a promising program to teach families — particularly Hispanic families — about dementia in a manner that makes the information easier to hear: an audio-visual novella called “Forgotten Memories” (“Recuerdos Olvidados”), which is available on YouTube in English and in Spanish.

The novella, by the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy in association with USC Good Neighbors Campaign, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, and USC Alzheimer Disease Research Center, tells the story of a man whose forgetfulness begins to impact his daily life and to affect three generations of his family.

For the entire article, visit:

A ‘novel-la’ way to educate families about dementia

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