Pioneer Network: #WeAreDementiaStrong Ramps Up Educational Mission
(Editor’s Note: The following article was earlier published in the Pioneer Network monthly e-newsletter on March 1, 2022.
By Brian LeBlanc and Maureen Rulison
#WeAreDementiaStrong. Yes, we are. And we’ve never been stronger than we are today.
That’s because we’re building our educational mission with new free content across a variety of platforms to reach persons living with dementia and their care partners – where and when they need it most. Over the last year, we’ve doubled down on digital content with regular blogs, Facebook Live events, webinars, and now a new podcast and magazine.
Last year, #WeAreDementiaStrong received 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. We’re now excited for new opportunities to build our educational platform. We gently guide the conversation through lived and professional experiences both living with dementia and serving others on that journey.
Producing the magazine just made sense. It’s titled “What To Do After A Dementia Diagnosis,” and it’s available for free in both glossy print and digital formats (fill out the form here to download your copy). And, yes, both formats serve distinct roles in spreading the #WeAreDementiaStrong message in strategic ways.
We aim to reach individuals and their care partners immediately, at that very vulnerable moment, when a primary care physician or neurologist delivers that most-unsettling news. The magazine includes feature stories to answer burning questions post diagnosis such as: common Alzheimer’s and dementia behaviors, dementia-friendly worship, life care and financial planning, and much more.
Physical copies are being distributed by professional partners in Pinellas County, FL as a beacon to light the path when it is most dim. The first edition highlights regional resources and services available for persons living with dementia and their care-partner teams. With support, future editions of the print magazine may reach a national audience and promote resources everywhere.
And while some may say a print publication is too antiquated, we believe it’s perfect for our purposes. The hard-copy format is something tangible – a resource that can be held in your hands immediately post-diagnosis, that can be kept on a coffee table to light the way whenever the path is dim.
Meanwhile, the digital version available on our website isn’t tethered by location. It can be a valuable resource for folks living anywhere in the world.
Some of you may be familiar with our weekly #WeAreDementiaStrong Facebook Live events. We took a brief pause at the end of last year to focus on the production of other educational content. We’ll be back soon – with an easy change of format to reach greater audiences.
The #WeAreDementiaStrong podcast is ready to go on Spotify, and we couldn’t be more excited to resume the community dialog. The free content will be familiar to our followers.
Some weeks we may ourselves discuss topics pertinent to persons living with dementia and their care partners, often aligning with our personal experience and professional areas of expertise. We may discuss important elements of life-care planning and patient advocacy, news from the world of dementia care, or the daily trials presented with dementia. Podcasts in other weeks will feature renowned subject-matter experts offering unique insights.
The format change is also strategic. It will allow our audiences to more easily access current and previously recorded content. And there’s nothing quite like listening to a good podcast while at work, driving or working out.
Person-Centered Care & Culture
As part of #WeAreDementiaStrong’s nonprofit mission, we’re committed to learning as much from our content consumers as they learn from us by collecting info from forms, surveys and other tools to tailor content to specific needs and reach audiences as they are.
We embrace the person-centered care and culture so smartly endorsed by Pioneer Network. #WeAreDementiaStrong has long partnered with Pioneer Network – and many other nonprofit and for-profit organizations like it – to serve our friends in need. Since beginning this quest in 2014 to educate wide audiences about the realities of dementia care and support, we’ve realized one important thing: we’re stronger together.
We now leverage power from our Board members, each of whom are experts in their dementia-related fields or as key parts of the continuum of care. We’re also building strategies to seek grant funding, donations and other avenues of community support to promote this vital work.
After all, everyone’s entitled to a happy, healthy life worth living. Donate here today.