For the past school year, the Spare a Thought for Dementia Collaborative partnered with the nursing program at Brock University and the PSW program at Niagara College to engage students in raising youth awareness and advocating for persons with dementia and their caregivers.
Two nursing students at Brock University were chosen to run a social media campaign and deliver dementia-based presentations to over 100 health science students on campus. The social media campaign utilized the T4D Instagram page to share information using fun, easy to understand infographics, as well as engage persons with dementia and their caregivers to share their stories and experiences. The students also created a memory board where other students were encouraged to write the names of loved ones living with dementia.
At Niagara College, PSW students worked diligently to host an information table and bake sale in the Health Sciences building, where they were able to disseminate key information about dementia to paramedic and nursing students. A bake sale was also held, from which $183.03 was raised! The students also created an online campaign and video, which featured real caregivers of persons with dementia and shared their messages in a meaningful and engaging manner.
All of the students that we worked with showcased their diligence and dedication to becoming holistic healthcare professionals who are acutely aware of the needs of persons with dementia and their caregivers. Their hard work and perseverance has led to a growth in our online following and has helped to fulfil our goal of raising awareness and creating dementia friendly communities. Their carefully curated online campaigns serve to inspire and educate future healthcare professionals in our communities about dementia to ensure a sensitive and informed healthcare workforce that can adequately support the needs of our aging population. We would like to acknowledge and thank Michelle Lewis from the Young Carergivers Association for her hard work and dedication in fostering these collaborations, and working directly with the students to help make their efforts a reality. We hope to continue working alongside students across Ontario to raise awareness and help create supports for persons with dementia and their caregivers.