Peter Whitehouse is an MD, PhD, and professor of neurology, psychiatry, cognitive science, neuroscience, and organizational behavior. He’s also a professor at the University of Toronto, an honorary research fellow at the University of Oxford, and Founding President of the Intergenerational Schools.
Daniel George is an assistant professor at Penn State College of Medicine. He earned his PhD and MSc in medical anthropology from Oxford University and has over 130 professional peer-reviewed publications. His research on intergenerational issues in dementia care has been recognized by the global advocacy group Alzheimer’s Disease International.
The episode centers on dementia in long-term care and public policy. The pair wrote a book together on dementia called The Myth of Alzheimer’s, and a lot of the episode is focused around that.
We find out about the book in detail and discover what experts in the long-term care industry can learn from reading it.
The pair also talks about the dehumanization of people with dementia and why humanizing dementia is essential.
Learn all about dementia from two highly-esteemed experts in the industry by tuning into the latest episode of the LTC Heroes podcast, with Peter Whitehouse of Case Western Reserve University and Daniel George of Penn State College of Medicine.
- Case Western Reserve University
- The Farmers Market in Hershey
- The Myth of Alzheimer’s
- American Dementia
Rapid Fire Q/A
What’s your funniest memory of either meeting or getting to know Peter?
Daniel: I met Peter when I was just out of college and I didn’t have a job. I was unemployed. I dropped out of the grad school program and worked part-time as a garbage man.
I brought an independent study I had done in college about TimeSlips, a creative storytelling project used in long-term care homes, not just in the US but internationally now, and I kind of audaciously slipped it under Peter’s door.
Just reflecting on his poor judgment, he invited me to become a research assistant, and we’ve worked together ever since. So it’s been a wonderful relationship. I’m very grateful for his mentorship.
What do you most admire about Danny?
Peter: He’s honest. He’s a great writer. That’s partly why I really enjoyed the collaboration because he was an English major.
Why would an owner, vice president, or CEO of a long-term care organization be interested in reading your book? What would they take away from it?
Daniel: What our book does, and Peter has done this his whole career, is challenge conventional wisdom. He’s challenged untruths that sort of hang there and people are afraid to touch. I think that’s what we were doing in this book.
What’s your interest in long-term care?
Daniel: When I was in high school, I volunteered at an adult daycare facility in Cleveland. There was a gentleman named Mr. Earl.
He’s an African American gentleman from Georgia. And he would always tell the same story, which is that the filmmakers of Gone with the Wind came to the farm that he grew up on as a sharecropper in Georgia and took footage for the film.
He will tell you that story every 10 minutes. He took great joy and relished in telling that story. It just dawned on me at the time how important it was to connect with people through a narrative, through a story, and form relationships on that basis.
What’s next for you?
Peter: I’m increasingly concerned about the climate crisis because I say the greatest threat to the quality of life for people with dementia is the climate crisis. They are more vulnerable to droughts, floods, and heatwaves, although we’re all vulnerable.
I’ve been working in public health, more specifically, and the arts. So my exploration is around how we can create learning environments that get us to think out of this challenge of the climate crisis and everything that goes along with it. Income and equity and all the things that are in the book.
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