What is LIVING the Dementia Journey?
LIVING the Dementia Journey is an evidence-based training program that:
- Increases understanding and awareness of dementia and the experience of living with it
- Builds and enhances skills to support persons living with dementia with compassion, dignity, and respect
It emphasizes the importance of shifting care and services to focus on a person’s strengths and abilities, and how each person can be supported in living life to the fullest. Everyone who interacts with and/or supports persons living with dementia will benefit from this training program.
Uniquely, the program was created in partnership with persons living with dementia and their care partners. The wisdom of lived experience found throughout makes it unlike any other dementia care and/or person-centred care education.
Presentations, individual reflections, small and large group discussions, and experiential learning are included in the curriculum to meet the needs of adult learners.
By participating in this program, you’re joining the movement to change the culture of aging that is sweeping across Canada and around the globe.
Who is LIVING the Dementia Journey for?
LIVING the Dementia Journey is for everyone – for those living with dementia and those who interact with and/or support persons living with dementia. The program encourages participation from across the continuum of care (long-term care, retirement living, acute care/hospital, and community/home care), including:
- Staff or team members
- Persons living with dementia
- Family care partners
Six core learning modules form the basis of the program’s curriculum:
L is for learning about the experience of living with dementia
I is for improving personal well-being
V is for validating and honouring each person in the moment
I is for interpreting personal expressions, actions and reactions
N is for nurturing all relationships
G is for greeting each day as an opportunity for meaning, purpose, and growth
Authentic Partnerships Approach
LIVING the Dementia Journey was developed using the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program’s Authentic Partnership approach which recognizes the important contributions that persons living with cognitive changes can make.
- a genuine regard for self and others,
- synergistic relationships where the collective wisdom of the group is seen as richer than the knowledge and skills of any one person, and
- a focus on the process that allows for supportive modifications and creative responses to issues developed from new learning.
- Connect and commit. This enabler joins partners from different backgrounds together, to mutually set partnership goals and guidelines, considering the strengths of all partners involved.
- Create a safe space. To support the formation of strong relationships, a safe space must be established that is built on trust and where all partners feel comfortable and open, both physically and emotionally, to share their opinions. The space must also be free of distractions and fuel an awareness and sensitivity to any discomfort or frustration felt by the partners.
- Value diverse perspectives. This enabler emphasizes the importance of appreciating and considering all ideas, contributions, and forms of participation within the Authentic Partnership. This enabler also views differences between partners as opportunities to learn and grow from each other.
- Establish and maintain open communication. Building strong lines of communication and connection within the partnership, requires partners to use accessible language, clarify meanings, and provide alternative ways of sharing within the partnership, which may include the need for flexibility during meetings, to provide partners extra time to share and communicate.
- Conduct regular reflection and dialogue. This enabler focuses on ongoing check-ins throughout the development of Authentic Partnerships. It promotes the need for personal and group reflection and communication within the partnership, to assess what is going well, what can be improved, and how the partnerships can be strengthened.