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Still from Still Alice. Photo: Killer Films.

Pop culture’s take on dementia: the good, the bad and the useful

With offerings like Still Alice, The Iron Lady, Black Mirror and even Wolverine-headed superhero flick Logan, more and more movies and TV shows are shining a spotlight on living with dementia, albeit with varying degrees of success and accuracy.

Still from The Iron Lady. Photo: Pathé

And an expert on the topic has said exploring the characters and themes within popular culture might help to teach aged care staff about the lived experience of dementia.

Research associate and RN Rose Capp, from Flinders University and Vasey RSL Care, presented on the topic at the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency’s 2017 Better Practice conference.

With an increasingly diverse population of aged care workers, using pop culture as a reference point in education can cut through, Capp said. “If you use a film like Still Alice or perhaps a TV series like Packed to the Rafters, it’s something that a lot of people might be familiar with and I think it can convey the experience of someone with dementia in a way that written material or some form of online learning may not be able to.”

Aged Care Insite spoke with Capp about the movies that are true to the lived experience of dementia and those that miss the mark, as well as the ways staff may benefit from discussions about the characters they showcase.

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