New online dementia resource aims to improve health outcomes
September 14, 2016
TORONTO, CANADA – A Baycrest Health Sciences-based group of educators is aiming to lessen the complexity, confusion and challenge of locating reliable online information about dementia for caregivers and those with concerns about dementia and memory loss.
Dementia Resources from Around the World, which officially launched September 14, is a carefully curated collection of senior-friendly and peer reviewed websites about dementia. The website includes resources about dementia risk factors, signs and symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options, strategies to cope with daily life challenges and support groups.
“Many studies have shown that improving a patient’s and caregiver’s understanding and knowledge of their health condition can actually improves outcomes” says Dr. David Conn, project lead and Vice President of Education & Director of the Centre for Education & Knowledge Exchange in Aging at Baycrest. “When it comes to dementia, while we don’t yet have a cure, reliable information can provide a lot of hope and help people make informed decisions about their treatment options.”
Each website listed on Dementia Resources from Around the World was evaluated using the DISCERN tool, a questionnaire that provides users with a valid and reliable way of assessing the quality of written information on treatment choices for a health problem. Websites were also evaluated with a reading assessment tool and the National Institute on Aging’s Senior Friendly Website Checklist.
A total of 33 websites have been selected for inclusion based on the evaluation process. Plans are now underway to continue to add to the website as new online dementia and caregiver resources are created and located online.
“In addition to the excellent resources available here at Baycrest, it’s important for our clients and the public to have access to the best and most reliable websites around the world,” says Dr. Conn. “Our new online dementia resource is an evolving collection of the highest quality information from respected organizations.”
Abdul Amlani, whose wife is a resident at the Apotex Centre, Jewish Home for the Aged at Baycrest, says Dementia Resources from Around the World has given him and his family a better understanding of dementia. “The language is straight forward and the information is easy to access. I have had a lot of questions about dementia and, in addition to speaking with my wife’s healthcare team, I now know much more about memory problems.”
Information on Dementia Resources from Around the World is available in multiple formats, including standard text websites, videos, games and pamphlets, to make it accessible to a broad audience. The website is available at www.baycrest.org/dementiaresources
This project was funded by an Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Alternate Funding Plan Innovation Grant.
About Baycrest Health Sciences
Headquartered on a 22-acre campus and fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, Baycrest Health Sciences is unique in the world, combining a comprehensive system of care for aging adults and one of the world’s top research institutes in cognitive neuroscience (the Rotman Research Institute). Baycrest’s dedicated centres focus on mitigating the impact of age-related illness and impairment, and offer unmatched global knowledge exchange and commercialization capacity.
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