Advocacy, Toward better care, Videos

people living with dementia prove the medical model wrong

People living with dementia are LIVING. They are not dead, or gone or empty shells.

They are people with abilities, skills, wants, needs, feelings, and if we help them, purpose! It’s time to recognize that, and provide PLWD the support they need – not just in a few exceptional long-term care facilities, but everywhere. We need to ditch the medical model that’s been proven to be broken and replace it with dementia care that works.

Revolutionizing Dementia Care is all about doing that. It’s full of concrete examples of the kinds of things that create positive change.

Here’s the trailer:

More important, here’s the full meal deal (I strongly encourage you to watch it in its entirety):

This is not “pie in the sky,” nor is it rocket science (as I keep saying over and over and over again). Some long-term care facilities are able to provide the kind of care that allows people living with dementia to engage life until the very end. They help PLWD to find purpose, to enjoy life, to contribute to their communities, to love, to laugh and to live fully and meaningful lives.

David Sheard has done it with his Butterfly Model.  Dr. Allen Power has done it with his books and pioneering ideas. Occupational therapist Teepa Snow has done with her skills training and videos. Others use similar approaches with the same kind of results. We need to scale these models NOW, if not sooner.

Please speak out and make your voice heard for better dementia care worldwide.


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a real-life example of what great dementia care is: loving, engaging, respectful, meaningful and joyful for everyone involved

A real-life interaction at Landermeads care home. Not staged, not stock, not faked.

It can be done, and it is being done right now in various places around the world including in Canada. We can use this life-changing model (and others that produce the same kind of results) to transform our broken eldercare system. EVERYONE benefits. Let’s do it!

Here are some great quotes from the video below to whet your appetite:

1 ) “What great dementia care is about is saying this isn’t rocket science to create, because I believe every human being knows what it is to be human. They know when they’re walking in somewhere: Does it feel right? Does it sound right? But what happens is we get told to be ‘professional,’ we get told to have distance and to be detached. But this constrains us and limits us as human beings in the care sector.” ~ Dr. David Sheard, creator of the Butterfly Model

2 ) “I can’t really think of caring any other way apart from how I’ve learned here. Which is by caring for the family members in a way that suits them more than it suits us.” ~ Alex King, Support Worker, Landermeads

3 ) “We don’t have an activities coordinator because activities aren’t something we’d bolt on at certain times during the day. We call it ‘occupation’ because people need to feel self-worth, they need to feel involved, and included in what we do, and the best way to do that is to occupy them every day with things that are going on as we would if we were at home.” ~ Ros Heath, Co-Founder and Director, Landermeads

4 ) “People who work in traditional care don’t really understand how to interact with people on a level where they’re emotionally attached to them. I think people here get very emotionally attached, and that’s something that brings out the best in the people who live here.” ~ Jay Heath Finance Director, Landermeads

5 ) “If you can make their lives happy, and have a good time, it doesn’t need to be a bad ending where you’re sitting in a corner, and you’re sad and you’re lonely and nobody’s talking to you. We’re about having fun and having a good time right until the end.” ~ Lisa Bishop, Nurse, Landermeads

6 ) “We absolutely live and breathe what we do, we believe in it, [because of] the evidence we have from the people that we look after. It’s just a joy to see how well people can live who have a dementia.” ~ Ros Heath, Co-Founder and Director, Landermeads

7 ) “This is controversial because in a care sector that’s largely driven by business, driven by models that have been taken from the healthcare systems of hospitals, in terms of clinical efficiency or in terms of what four-star hotel care looks like. But we know [from] our own lives that the greatest thing that helps us survive, that gives us a sense of well being is being loved. And I think [it’s] a huge threat to a professional sector to say that’s what transforms lives. That’s what creates staff who want to be [here]. That’s what reduces staff sickness [and] creates staff retention. That’s what stops people falling in the care home, that’s what stops infection rates – people can’t get their head around it. [The] care sector seems so scared to embrace that as the very core, and then build a business on it.” ~ Dr. David Sheard, creator of the Butterfly Model

Take a look at what is at the core of great dementia care (tissues recommended if you’re sensitive like me!):

Curious? Moved? Energized? Hopeful?

Want to know more? Click these links:

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it’s as frustrating for care workers as it is for family members

The state of our elder care health system (worldwide!) is atrocious. And many care workers within it are as neglected and abused as the people they are supposed to be taking care of. After former care worker Heather Reece read bullied and banned: rachel’s story, she wrote:

“Having been a carer of people with dementia, [I can tell you] it’s as frustrating for the carers as it is for the family. Understaffing is the biggest issue; the amount of people you are expected to assist to wash and dress per carer is ridiculous. It’s like a factory conveyor belt, and it shouldn’t be like that. You’re not given the time to let “Margaret” or whoever brush her own hair even though she’s more than capable of doing it but it takes her 20 mins! You’re not given 20 mins to assist to wash and dress one person let alone to help Margaret just brush her hair. It’s sad and wrong that you’re classed as not pulling your weight as a carer if you do your job properly.”

You said it Heather Reece! We need more trained, qualified and compassionate care workers who have more time to do their job properly instead of being rushed because the ratio of residents to workers is completely out of whack.

#FightTheGoodFight #WeCanCareBetter


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