Portraying life with dementia in new light and colour

Led by Dr. Susan Cox, an associate professor at the UBC School of Population and Public Health’s W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics, and UBC postdoctoral fellow Dr. Gloria Puurveen, the research project set out to explore the meaning of living well with dementia through the eyes of those with the disease and their care partners.

“Dementia is often viewed with a lot of fear and stigma. Our intention with this project was to provide an alternative narrative of dementia: a narrative that focuses on the strength and resilience, the sources of joy and happiness, rather than just the narrative of decline and loss, which can be so devastating,” says Dr. Cox.

“We also wanted to foreground the voice of the person with dementia. We often presume we know what’s best for people with dementia and their family members and care providers, but with this project we wanted to hear directly from them about what they want and value,” she adds.

In addition to conducting in-depth interviews with participants like Myrna, the researchers ran a series of art workshops, bringing everyone under one roof at the North Burnaby Neighbourhood House.

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