Stories for Caregivers. Video #6. Therapeutic Fibbing.

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Developed by The Coup Company with the participation of TELUS Fund, Stories For Caregivers is an initiative designed to generate awareness about caregiving through the creation of original web series that showcase the inspiring work of caregivers across Canada.

In 2017, TELUS Fund launched the first Special Call for Web Series to surface stories with the potential to positively impact individuals caring for loved ones. Since then the Fund has helped finance twenty original pilot episodes and eight original web series: How We Die, Culture of Caring, Letters from Caregivers, Growing Together with Jann Arden, Cypher, Caring For Those Who Care, Being There, and House Call With Dr. Yvette Lu.

These touching series have been released annually to the public through the Stories For Caregivers initiative, with marketing and promotional support provided by TELUS Fund. In that time they have amassed over 9 MILLION views and have been featured on national television, radio, and other mainstream news media across the country.

Stories For Caregivers is currently the largest online community of caregivers in Canada and remains committed to sharing stories that inspire caregivers and generating awareness of the global issue of caregiving.

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The title of this video is: Therapeutic Fibbing

Therapeutic Fibbing is a heart-opening dramatic comedy web series produced by Vancouver-based Equal Films Ltd featuring an everyday Canadian family utilizing – with varying levels of success – a form of compassionate lying to navigate communications with a loved one living with dementia.

By 2030, one million Canadians will be living with dementia; and an even larger number of us will end up being caregivers.

Stepping into someone’s reality isn’t the same as lying

Dealing with someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia – honesty isn’t always the best policy.  That’s because their brain may experience a different version of reality. Dementia damages the brain and causes progressive decline in the ability to understand and process information. That’s why forcing someone to abandon their version of reality and join our “real world” can cause confusion, pain, anxiety, fear, and anger.

So, dementia care experts often recommend a technique called therapeutic fibbing. It helps you step into their current reality and spare them unnecessary upset and distress. This technique takes some getting used to, because going along with your older adult’s new reality can feel like you’re lying to them. But using white lies to validate their feelings and reassure them is certainly not the same as lying for a malicious reason. Always telling the truth could be cruel, so therapeutic fibbing helps you join their reality, and this comedy web series shares a few real-life examples of how to use therapeutic fibs to provide comfort and reassurance.

Stories for Caregivers – Therapeutic Fibbing

Therapeutic Fibbing is a dramatic comedy web series focusing on the MacAulay Family as they react to the matriarch of the family’s diagnosis with characteristic denial, selfishness, aplomb, guts and ultimately grace.  The central character, Dotty, will say loud and clear: “I’m right here .” And it may be followed with the confusion of where is here? And who are you?

  1. Here is a link to the first of four episodes titled Bundle Up:  https://www.storiesforcaregivers.com/therapeutic-fibbing-bundle-up-1-4/

The Production team:

Katrina Prescott, Producer is a caregiving advocate and advisor.  She has worked in the New York and Vancouver film industry for over 20 years.

Pat Holden is an award-winning Writer/Director with an extensive resume of work in the TV and film industry in the UK.

Jessica Fraser, Writer/Director/Producer has been part of teams that have showcased their work at major festivals including Cannes, Berline, Sundance and Toronto and received international distribution.  She loves how storytelling can accelerate change in both local and international arenas.

The writing and producing team of Therapeutic Fibbing have all been touched by dementia. All have a parent or step-parent who is living with disease or has been lost to the disease. These scripts lean heavily on their ongoing experience. Many of these experiences are universal.

Katrina’s Mom just passed away from dementia six months ago.  Pat’s Mom passed away many years ago.

The series was shot in West Vancouver home.  Almost all crew and actors brought their own dementia stories about a loved one to set.  It was quite extraordinary.

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