Hub Community Action That Builds Capacity
The Dementia Ventures project empowers Hub Partners to build out inclusive community programming for all and adapt to include people living with dementia. They and their care partners want to remain socially engaged in meaningful activities. A collaboration with UBC’s Dr. Alison Phinney and her Building Capacity team offers financial, strategic and logistical resources so programs can welcome and support those with dementia and their care partners.
We celebrated midway in this initiative with a series of vibrant online community dialogues.
The theme was: “What it means to be an accepting and inclusive community.”
SoundBytes wants to share wisdom from those dialogues.
Here are our first nuggets. There will be many more!
BC-based artist and advocate Granville Johnson spoke out about fear and the power of our perspective on Dementia Dialogue's most recent podcast episode, addressing the ways we can choose to gain some sense of control and joy back into our lives even in the face of new challenges.
PERSPECTIVE IS EVERYTHING
In the most recent podcast episode of Dementia Dialogue, Dr. Alison Phinney discusses the stigma attached to dementia diagnoses and how that impacts community support efforts. She speaks with host Lisa Loiselle and fellow podcast guest Granville Johnson, who lives with dementia himself, about the important balance to be struck between training and education on one hand, and engaging with people with lived experience on the other.
WHAT HOLDS US BACK
Karen Rolston’s mother Louise started getting inklings something was a little “off” back in 2011. At the time, the Rolstons were already in the process of creating a laneway house on their property for her, so they could live close together. The timing worked out well. Louise lived there for seven years beside her daughter Karen, Karen’s husband, and their daughter. Those years were, “a beautiful opportunity for us to just wrap mom with more support and care while she was able to live in her own space,” Karen said.
When Karen thinks about the journey she has been on with her mom, and the reactions from people when it comes to dementia, the word that comes to mind is fear. “People find out someone has dementia, and they think, ‘Am I going to receive this diagnosis too?’ ‘Is someone I love going to get dementia?’” Rolston said. Fear seeps in and too often, people pull away.
“People often don’t know what to say or do, so they turn away from those with dementia instead of turning toward them with love,” Rolston said.
Rolston is extremely grateful for community supports. Her mom really enjoyed the Alzheimer Society’s Minds in Motion program, the Alzheimer’s Café and the Helena choir she joined. “These community groups are where we felt really held,” she said. “It’s such a painful journey and there is still so much we can do.”
In this Soundbyte, Rolston offers her thoughts on how to really tune into a person’s needs and meet them where they are, rather than seeing their responses as resistance or defiance. Loving and showing up for someone with dementia is about cherishing the now, embracing their world, and accepting what is.