DREAM Evaluation Study
Innovative research project needs your help to expand and improve community-based wellness opportunities for people living with dementia.
The article was written by a guest contributor, and the views, thoughts and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author.
People living with dementia have a right to be included equally in their communities and to access physical activity, healthy eating and other wellness opportunities.
This belief is what spawned the creation of the Dementia Resources for Eating, Activity and Meaningful Inclusion (DREAM) project.
Its DREAM team is made of people living with dementia, care partners, researchers, physical activity providers, dietitians, health-care providers, and dementia service providers.
Team members have united to compile, adapt and create DREAM resources, such as handouts, videos and a website — all dedicated to building more dementia-friendly communities.
These resources are meant to:
- Teach and empower people living with dementia and care partners about their rights to inclusion, physical activity and healthy eating habits.
- Educate community program and service providers to include and support people living with dementia in physical activity, healthy eating and other aspects of wellness.
But will these resources help?
An encouraging pilot study evaluating DREAM resources echoed that physical activity and healthy eating were indeed a priority for people living with dementia and their care partners.
Positive feedback showed that persons living with dementia found the content clear and easy to understand, while enjoying the informative and engaging videos, images and graphics. Care partners also liked the use of videos and handouts to support written content.
Constructive criticism showed that, although most participants found the website easy to use and well-designed, some needed help navigating through. They suggested adding more graphics, videos, definitions and examples to improve usability and understanding.
Though these initial results are beneficial, the DREAM team needs more feedback from people living with dementia and their care partners.
Are you interested?
The goals of this study are to:
- Describe the impact of DREAM resources on knowledge, attitudes, confidence and behaviours of community program and service providers, people living with dementia and care partners.
- Understand the strengths, weaknesses and changes that could improve the DREAM resources.
- Connect people living with dementia and care partners with community service and program providers who have completed the DREAM learning modules.
Do you qualify?
To participate in this study, you must:
- Live with dementia OR be a family member or friend of someone living with dementia.
- Speak and understand English.
- Live in a Canadian community.
- Have access to a computer with a camera, a microphone and the internet.
How does it work?
First, you will meet with a researcher to get a study overview and to ask questions. If the study seems like a good fit, the researcher will go through the informed consent form, and you will choose whether to participate.
During the study, you will:
1. Review and reflect
- Take two weeks to review and reflect on how you might use DREAM resources in the future.
- Use an optional note-taking tool, called a reflection diary, to assist with the review (you will not be asked to submit your notes).
2. Answer questions
- Integrate, or consider ways to integrate, the DREAM resource advice into your life for a few months.
- Complete three 30–45-minute surveys within these months, either on your own or with a researcher over Zoom.
- Answer questions about yourself, such as your age, experiences with dementia, physical activity and eating habits, and feelings of well-being and inclusion in your community.
Researchers will use the answers to understand how DREAM resources could be helpful in your daily life, and to highlight the strengths, weaknesses and changes needed to improve these resources.
3. Be interviewed (if selected)
- Attend one or two additional semi-structured interviews online (Zoom), lasting from 45 to 60 minutes each.
- Answer questions about the strengths, weaknesses and potential impacts of DREAM resources.
Interviews will help the team gather more in-depth information on your experiences, opinions and feedback of DREAM resources.
You are free to withdraw from the study at any time, for any reason, without consequence. If you choose to end your participation, your data will be destroyed, unless data analysis has already begun. Any shared identifying information, such as your name or organization, will be removed from the data collected so only anonymous information remains.
Building healthier communities together
The DREAM Evaluation Study will confirm the potential benefits of DREAM resources and reveal improvements for future use. The next steps will likely include broader sharing of these resources across Canada.
In the long-term, the DREAM team hopes the resources will improve the quantity, quality and variety of community-based physical activity, healthy eating and wellness opportunities for all Canadians living with dementia and their family and friends.
Join the study today to help build healthier communities.
GET MORE INFORMATION
Visit the DREAM webpage or send an email to participate or learn more.
Read more about research projects looking to help you live well with dementia.
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