Dr Emer Begley
The Alzheimer Society of Ireland
Taking the Stress out of Dementia Caregiving
Health Research Board
The existing award examines how the caring experience can impact the health of dementia spouse carers. Using this emerging research evidence we will develop two animated films and a dedicated online resource providing easy-to-understand practical advice to carers to improve their quality of life and reduce stress. FreeDem Films are animations about memory loss, dementia and brain health (www.freedemliving.com). FreeDem films have been viewed in 140+ countries by 240,000+ and are used globally for training by Alzheimers organisations, hospitals and other stakeholders.The proposed 2.5-minute films will look similar to existing FreeDem films but will address issues specifically relevant to carers. Evidence gathered for this application found that 82% of dementia carers surveyed thought the FreeDem film format was very easy to understand. However, only 29% felt the content was very relevant to them, showing the need for targeted content for carers. in addition, a designated carer section will be added to the brain health awareness website (www.hellobrain.eu). This will contain easy-to-understand carer-specific information based on empirical evidence from the De-Stress project and through engagement with the Dementia Carers Campaign Network (DCCN). The films and web content will be promoted via a social media campaign designed and driven by the ASI. The content of the films will be confirmed following consultation with carers. Preliminary research findings indicate this content could include information about the importance of social connection, preventing social isolation and managing the sometimes challenging psychiatric and behavioral symptoms of dementia.