Dementia: You Can Make A Difference

Watch the new Peabody Award-winning documentary “Dementia: You Can Make A Difference” by Firdaus Kharas of Chocolate Moose Productions, produced by the University of Ottawa’s LIFE Research Institute with funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada on the LIFE Research Institute’s YouTube channel. It is a compelling, award-winning, short narrative documentary featuring people living with dementia and their caregivers sharing their experiences. The documentary shines a light on the growing prevalence of dementia, the stigma associated with dementia, and the advances in research related to dementia. The video offers hope in a plea to get involved in research related to dementia.



Following Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, the director of the LIFE Research Institute, Dr. Nafissa Ismail, sat down with film director Firdaus Kharas to discuss the making of the video “Dementia: You Can Make A Difference,” which received two awards before it was even officially launched to the public.

What inspired the making of this video?

Firdaus discusses his personal motivation for the project, “I think I'm, of course, personally motivated because my father had dementia for many years. He was living halfway around the world. So, it was a difficult situation for all of us.” He discusses his stance on long-term care for people with dementia and the cultural dimensions of dementia. In the documentary, a number of conversations come up surrounding the different cultural aspects surrounding decision-making when it comes to having a loved one with dementia.

So, who was in this documentary, and why was it so important to hear from them?

Firdaus emphasized the importance of having people who live with the illness talk about their experiences with it, “I think that's very important to hear from people that actually are living through the process.” The documentary also includes discussions with various people who work in and around the field of dementia or who have otherwise been affected by the disease either because they have it or a loved one did.

These perspectives are from:

  • People who have been living with dementia for varying lengths of time for a first-hand perspective and understanding
  • Caregivers to people who have dementia
  • People working in the field of dementia to learn about the lack of information and misinformation that exists surrounding this topic
  • Researchers to learn about the recent developments in our understanding of the causes and prevention methods of dementia

If you're as inspired by this topic as we are, check out the full video on the LIFE Research Institute's YouTube channel.

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