Day 1: Life After a Dementia Diagnosis

Wood blocks spelling out dementia. Red alarm clock. Brain model.

ln honour of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, CABHI will feature new content each week over the month of January.  

Welcome to Season 4 of the Community of Innovation podcast! In this premier episode, Drs. Allison Sekuler and Rosanne Aleong welcome Jim Mann, Dr. Anthony Levinson (iGeriCare), and Robin Mitchell (Baycrest) as they explore the impact of a dementia diagnosis on clients and their families in those first/early days. Our guests will walk us through the common emotions and challenges that a diagnosis may bring along with resources and strategies to help clients and their families. 

Key Highlights

Dr. Allison Sekuler: This is a really personal journey for people. What is going to work for one person at one time may not be what’s right for another person. Know yourself. Know your loved ones. Make sure the journey for you, whether you’re the person living with dementia or the caregiver, it’s personalized and it’s the right place and right time for you.” 

Dr. Rosanne Aleong: “One of our guests is such an inspirational role model for living and aging fearlessly with dementia. He shares a number of activities and things he does day to day that really makes him inspirational, makes him a role model, whether you’re living with dementia or not. He tackles life head on and all of us can learn a lot from him.” 

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Learn more about our guests

Jim Mann, LL.D., is a researcher, author, and volunteer with an honourary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of British Columbia. At the age of 58, he was diagnosed with young-onset Alzheimer’s. Since then, he’s become one of Canada’s strongest Alzheimer’s advocates, serving as a member of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute for Aging, on the AGE-WELL NCE Research Management Committee, a Platform Advisory Council member at its associated EPIC-AT program, the Research Ethics BC Advisory Council, and the Global Dementia Observatory focus group. Jim is also a co-Principal Investigator of research focused on reducing the stigma of dementia, a co-investigator of a robotic-assisted virtual care project, as well as a collaborator and a knowledge user on other projects. He has authored/co-authored many papers and continues to make presentations across the country. 

Dr. Anthony J. Levinson is a psychiatrist, the Director of the Division of e-Learning Innovation, and the John R. Evans Chair in Health Sciences Educational Research and Instructional Development at McMaster University. He is also the co-developer of the web-based dementia care partner education platform. His area of research is technology-enhanced teaching and learning, studying how to use various web technologies and apps to improve health education for health professional learners and the public. Dr. Levinson maintains an active clinical practice in consultation-liaison psychiatry with a special interest in complex neuropsychiatric disorders and mental health issues among the medically ill. 

Robin Mitchell has devoted her career to supporting and empowering geriatric patients and their caregivers. As a social worker with the Pamela & Paul Austin Centre for Neurology & Behaviour Support at Baycrest, Robin provides supportive counseling to caregivers of clients living with dementia. As a key team member of the Virtual Behavioural Medicine and Memory Clinic staff, Robin collaborates with community stakeholders and families to ensure clients obtain access to resources and receive the optimal care they deserve. Prior to joining the Austin Centre program, Robin worked as a social worker in the Behavioural Neurology unit at Baycrest and several adult day programs and long-term care facilities in New York City. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Toronto. 

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