OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

dementia diaries: a Netflix original series

Follows 5 fictional dementia care stories starting at various stages in different forms of the disease (e.g. Alzheimer's, vascular, etc.)

Photo of Susan
3 1

Written by

Who is your idea designed for and how does it better support family caregivers as they care for a loved one with dementia?

The series targets existing and future caregivers, family, friends and the community in general (i.e. everyone). It increases awareness of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, and helps reduce the stigma by showing the realities of dementia WITHOUT fear mongering. Episodes tackle real caregiving issues, explore solutions and give tips, guidance and ideas.

While I put this idea in the category of managing challenging behaviours, it actually addresses all five challenge categories (i.e. embracing the role, planning ahead, strengthening bonds, staying connected, and managing behaviours). 

This series informs, educates, and entertains, from multiple different angles and perspectives, including those of people who live with dementia, to multiple different audiences of all ages. It taps into the power of storytelling, has virtually unlimited possibilities for storylines, reaches a worldwide audience, and provides the opportunity to evolve as new innovations come on stream. It is poignant, dramatic, humorous, touching, and real. A cross between a docudrama and an endearing sitcom it speaks to people's hearts, and inspires them to find hope and healing, while they also live through the full range of negative emotions and challenges which are often associated with being care partners to others who lives with dementia. The characters are as diverse as the life experiences they portray.

Dozens of ideas that have been suggested as part of this challenge may be woven into the fabric of ongoing episodes thus exposing caregivers to a world of potential “solutions” to the individual and collective problems we face as we care for an increasing number of people living with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. It reaches out to caregivers and shows them they are not alone, and provides a dynamic platform that features care strategies and resources in a way that is easy to digest.

It also provides friends, families and communities members a realistic look into what living with dementia and caring for someone with dementia is like, and so will help to eliminate the stigma surrounding the disease and mobilize support for much-needed system-wide improvements in dementia care. 

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

A pilot, just as in any TV series.

What skills, input, or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Help in clearly articulating the idea and putting it in a pitch format that Netflix will buy.

How long has your idea existed?

  • 0-3 months

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual

Tell us about your work experience:

Primary care partner for ten years to my mother who lived with Alzheimer disease. Blogger. Dementia care advocate. Research collaborator. My blog is here:


Join the conversation:

Photo of Erin

I love this idea! It's a neat way to show different ways real people live with different types and stages of their dementia. I like that you could use the different characters to compare/contrast/educate people about the different types of dementia. While a lot of it is incredibly difficult, there is a possibility for humor and joy that comes with the care giving process. This type of project could give caregivers a something to relate to in a therapeutic way!

View all comments