Lori Nancy Kalamanski, (L), and Mary Ellen MacLean in a scene from Cracked: New Light on Dementia. It's the prequel to Dementia in New Light: A Digital Learning Experience, a new project from UHN's KITE Research Institute. (Photo: Kelly Kruschel)

Building off the success of a groundbreaking theatre production and film called Cracked: New Light on Dementia, Dr. Pia Kontos, a Senior Scientist at UHN's KITE Research Institute, and Romeo Colobong, a KITE senior research associate, have launched a new online educational tool designed to nurture understanding of dementia.

Dementia in New Light: A Digital Learning Experience uses a cinematic display featuring audio and visual assets to educate audiences about the challenges faced by people living with dementia, due to the detrimental effects of stigmatization, and provides a roadmap for how society can become more inclusive and supportive.

"People living with dementia are often thought of as completely unaware of their surroundings and incapable of any meaningful communication," says Dr. Kontos, who is also a professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.

"This deprives them of opportunities to be social, make decisions regarding their own care, and legitimizes care that is dehumanizing."

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