Barb Sutcliffe has been working in the elder care sector for over 30 years and is the Director of Sales and Marketing with the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging. She is a Registered Nurse, and also received her BA in
Sociology and a Diploma in Gerontology. Barb has held many positions within the elder care sector, including Director of Retirement, Director of Marketing, and Assistant General Manager. Prior to this, Barb worked as a surgical nurse and a Surgical/Cardiac ICU for 14 years. Barb sat on the Board for the Kitchener-Waterloo Alzheimer Society from 1996-2004 and facilitated the Winston Park Memory Clinic from 2012-2016. Barb has travelled to Haiti with a team of 20 plus team members on three occasions and co-facilitated two of these missions. Barb is married with three children and five grandchildren and enjoys kayaking, reading and travel.
LIVING the Dementia Journey
This presentation will highlight the philosophy of LIVING the Dementia Journey (LDJ), which is a training program that aims to support the well-being of persons living with dementia. The presentation will provide participants with an idea of how the LDJ provides an interactive learning experience illustrating how to shift culture to a social model of living and build authentic relationships to better support those living with dementia with compassion, dignity and respect.
LDJ is grounded in the perspectives of people living with dementia, their family members, and other care partners. LDJ was created to address the need to provide persons with dementia in the long-term care (LTC) and related sectors with support to improve quality of life. Data show that more than 402,000 Canadians (65 years and older) are living with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease (1). An estimated 45% (118,000) of people aged 45 or older in long-term residential care facilities had a diagnosis of dementia. Dementia was more common at older ages: 12% at ages 45 to 64, 42% at ages 65 to 79, and 56% at age 80 or older (2). LDJ builds capacity for care providers to support a culture of person-centred care for persons living with dementia to improve well-being, interpret personal expressions (responsive behaviours), nurture relationships and greet each day as an opportunity for meaning, purpose and growth.
Several evaluations have assessed the effectiveness and delivery of the program finding that LDJ eﬀectively increases learners’ knowledge and skills to better support the well-being of persons living with dementia based on the response of 526 participants. LDJ has also been recognized by the Ontario Long Term Care Association as the 2017 Best New Long-Term Care Product or Service of the Year.
LDJ enhances the engagement of persons living with dementia in long-term care homes and related sectors through improved resident-care partner relationships, and increased communication, understanding, participation in daily activities, and overall well-being for everyone in the circle of care. Conference participants will leave this presentation with a new understanding of how the LDJ workshops can better equip people to support persons living with dementia.
(1) Government of Canada (2017). Dementia. Retrieved from https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/dementia.html
(2) Wong, S, Gilmour, H, Ramage-Morin, P. (2016) Statistics Canada Health Reports: Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias in Canada., Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-003-x/2016005/article/14613-eng.pdf