The latest episode of the Dementia Dialogue Podcast featured RIA’s Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program (MAREP) and two familiar faces. Brenda Hounman, a dementia advocate, person living with dementia and By Us For Us Guide founder, and Sherry Dupuis, RIA research scientist, Professor and former director of MAREP at University of Waterloo, were interviewed about their work together on various MAREP projects.
The discussion focused on the invaluable insight people with lived experience can provide for researchers, and the importance of working together. The MAREP program employs an Authentic Partnerships model to support people living with dementia, where researchers work with people living with dementia rather than for them. Strong relationships are fundamental to enhancing the well-being of individuals impacted by dementia and the Authentic Partnership model embodies these ideals.
Hounman and Dupuis discussed two projects they have worked on together as part of the MAREP program, A Changing Melody conference and toolkit and the By Us For Us Guides. A Changing Melody was the first MAREP project Hounman was a part of. It was an opportunity to not only share her passion for volunteering after being turned away from several volunteer positions in the community, but a place where her insight was heard and appreciated.
“It was quite unique at the time to go into a learning experience where you felt totally comfortable,” said Hounman. “When we were sitting on the committees, our expertise was not only listened to, but respected. Not only our expertise as a person with dementia, but our expertise that we gained in life. We were still valued as a whole, and that was huge.”
To listen to the podcast episode, click here.
To learn more about A Changing Melody, click here.
To learn more the By Us For Us Guides, click here.