Podcasts give a voice to real people living with a dementia diagnosis
A leading author and a global expert on dementia join forces in a powerful new podcast series hearing from people living with dementia.
The Dementia Podcast: Starting Conversations gives a lived experience perspective on the often-unspoken journey of dementia diagnosis and the seismic life-change it may bring.
Ailsa Wild (The Care Factor, You’ll be a Wonderful Dad – Hardie Grant Books) brings her lively curiosity and compassion into conversation with neighbour Clare who lives with dementia, cared for by partner Jim.
As their deeply moving story unfolds across seven episodes, A/Prof Colm Cunningham of HammondCare’s Dementia Centre shares his expertise through observations, insights and interviews with other international experts.
And the well-known Dr Sally Cockburn (also known as Dr Feelgood on 3AW and as seen on Sunrise) brings the GP perspective.
Produced by Joel Martin who is well-known in Australian literary circles and festivals, this series breaths life, emotion, dignity and hope into a complex and sometimes harrowing topic – reinforced by an original score from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, including work from Erin McKellar (A Box of Memories – Adelaide Fringe).
“The Dementia Podcast: Starting Conversations is more about being tangibly present in the lives of real people affected by dementia in different ways,” says A/Prof Cunningham.
“To hear Clare tell her story, and Jim share alongside her, while Ailsa so naturally opens up the dynamics of what is unfolding so we can all be part of it, is an important creative development in how we learn about living with dementia.
“In the past it was too common that the voices of people living with dementia were drowned out by the opinion of others. Today people with dementia are front and centre, often helping set the agenda about how they want to be seen, and that’s a big shift reflected in The Dementia Podcast.”
In episode one we hear as Ailsa makes her way to visit Clare and Jim in their home for the first time to talk about their dementia experiences. She uses all her skills and empathy which were also on display in The Care Factor – written in 2020 from the healthcare frontline of Melbourne’s COVID lockdowns.
A/Prof Cunningham then develops the story, drawing on his decades of dementia care and research. In episode two, we continue to hear from Clare and Jim with contributions from Dr Sally Cockburn on the challenges GPs face as they seek to provide support.