Living the Dementia Journey

LIVING the Dementia Journey (LDJ) is an award-winning, evidence-informed training program for those who support people living with dementia. Participants gain awareness and understanding that changes not only the way they view dementia, but the way they support people living with it.

The LDJ program:

  • Increases understanding of dementia and provides a new perspective on the experience of living with it
  • Applies a person-centred approach to provide individualized support
  • Enhances skills in relationship-building to support individuals with compassion and respect
  • Shares strategies to recognize, interpret, and respond to personal expressions (behaviours)
  • Addresses ways to tackle boredom, loneliness, and helplessness by creating opportunities for meaning, purpose and growth

Modules

Through the PSW Education Fund, team members in long-term care can participate in an 8-hour virtual LDJ workshop that includes the following modules:

  1. LEARNING about the experience of living with dementia:
    • Gain a new understanding and perspective of dementia
    • Understand how common myths and misunderstandings about dementia impact the approach to care
    • Learn about the unique, real-life experiences of people living with dementia
  1. IMPROVING personal well-being:
    • Understand that quality of life goes beyond quality of care and activities of daily living
    • Learn about the seven domains of well-being and what they mean for each person
    • Learn the importance of and strategies for taking care of yourself and others
  1. VALIDATING and honouring each person in the moment:
    • Recognize the value of the individual beyond diagnosis and knowing each person
    • Understand how people living with dementia perceive and communicate their reality differently
    • Learn how your actions and interactions with a person with dementia can have a negative or positive impact
  1. INTERPRETING personal expressions, actions, and reactions:
    • Understand that personal expressions (behaviours) having meaning
    • Understand what factors trigger personal expressions
    • Learn how to problem solve and identify strategies to recognize, interpret and respond to personal expressions
  1. NURTURING all relationships:
    • Understand the importance of the way you speak and act
    • Learn the key ingredients to developing relationships with people whose cognition is changing
    • Explore different styles of caring to promote relationships
  1. GREETING each day as an opportunity for meaning, purpose, and growth:
    • Understand how to combat the three plagues of long-term care: boredom, loneliness and helplessness
    • Learn how to create meaningful experiences and opportunities for growth for people living with dementia

Acknowledgements

LDJ was created by the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging and the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program in collaboration with people living with dementia and their care partners.