The Philosophy

Authentic Partnership Approach

Program Philosophy

LIVING the Dementia Journey was developed using the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program’s Authentic Partnership approach, which recognizes the important contributions that people living with cognitive changes can make.


Guiding Principles:

  • 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
  • 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. This enabler supports the formation of strong relationships, where a safe space is 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. This enabler builds strong lines of communication and connection within the partnership. It 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.