- Parables of care: Instrumentality, aesthetics and utility in devising a comic for dementia caregivers
- Simon Grennan (author), Ernesto Priego (author), Peter Wilkins (author)
Conference presentation delivered at the Comics & Medicine Conference (June 2017), in Seattle, Washington.
This presentation reports on work in progress by Ernesto Priego at City University of London, Peter Wilkins at Douglas College, and Simon Grennan at The University of Chester to develop two short comic book manuals of best practices for dementia care in the UK and Canada. This project collects information in focus groups from caregivers from across disciplines (e.g. nurses, psychiatric nurses, healthcare support workers, therapeutic recreation practitioners, dental assistants) in consultation with comic book artists to create comics that speaks to a variety of audiences. The project explores the possibility of synthesizing qualitative data--interdisciplinary attitudes and approaches--in comics form. So doing it tackles a logistical problem (gathering the information) and a technical one (representing the information). Furthermore, the project looks at the significance of the aesthetics of conveying information: what are the advantages of depicting best practices in comic book form as opposed to using an infographic or other document. Do caregivers (and family members of dementia sufferers) find the information in comics form more subjectively and objectively accessible than in other conveyances. We are intrigued by the possibility that the artistic representation of medical information develops and enhances empathy and identification that otherwise might be suppressed. The project also explores the different practices and approaches of two different health systems: the NHS in the UK and health authorities in British Columbia, Canada. The differences between the two comics will illuminate discrepancies between the two systems vis a vis dementia care and provide opportunities to analyze those discrepancies. At the time of the conference, we will be in the middle of the project, and we propose to present how it is going, the pitfalls and triumphs. We will be able to report on the focus groups/ artist consultations and show some preliminary work on the comics.
- Dementia--Comic books, strips, etc., Human computer interaction--Comic books, strips, etc., Mental Health--Comic books, strips, etc., Biographical comic books, strips, etc., Aging parents--Care--Comic books, strips, etc.
- English, Language, Literature and Performing Arts