I remember it like it was yesterday, Daphne and I were driving to present in a class at a local university, when we began to think through a concept that Daphne had developed months before. It was a name, and the concept of a business, Person Centred Universe, that started it all. Our vision is simple; we believe in a better world for those affected by dementia. We believe that, when provided resources, and in supportive environments, it is possible to live well and live inclusively with this disease. That care providers, be it within formal healthcare settings or family care partners, have the unique opportunity to support those living with dementia on a journey, and when given resources and tools, a cohesive team can encourage quality of life for all involved.
Since 2013, Person Centred Universe has been standing by the belief that quality person centred dementia care is attainable within healthcare when given access to education and resources that encourage collaboration and networking, that instills leadership, and that helps each person who's working with clients living with dementia to have empathy for the unique journey each person is going through and how they can live dignified lives when faced with this disease. We have been certified by the University of Bradford in dementia care mapping, our cornerstone service, to identify quality of care for those living with dementia in formal care settings, and as well provide a variety of education and workshops to support quality care.
It wasn't until 2017, when we were being approached organically from friends of family and individuals who were learning about who we are and what we do through our work in healthcare, that we recognized the need to provide support and resources to informal caregivers, and family care partners living near and far from their loved ones. Utilizing many of the same principles we apply to healthcare providers, we developed the Dementia Journey Coaching concept, in which we provide support, navigation and essentially, coaching services. We believe that by joining family and friends of those living with dementia who are both living with a loved one or living across the country, on their journey, they can be better prepared for what's happening now, better able to access applicable services and programs that can solve significant challenges they're currently facing, and as well help care providers from across the continuum stay healthy and well themselves. We have had conversations with countless families and care partners, all who want to know that they're doing the best job that they possibly can. With dementia journey coaching, we help them to ensure they're feeling that way and are in control of their caregiving role, whether it be as a live-in caregiver, or a loved one who's supporting family across the country.
We look forward to sharing in your journey!
Now that you have learned a little bit about the story of Person Centred Universe, we would like to share with you the vision behind our newest adventure, our blog….
One of the main things we hear from care partners who are walking their journey with dementia is that they don’t always know where to turn for resources and support. We hear this from people who are caring for a loved one at home, as well as professionals who are striving to deliver the best person centred care in a formal setting, such as a long-term care home or as they provide in-home care. There is no shortage of giving, compassionate and noble human spirit along the journey with dementia, but rather a lack of formal supports and resources. It is the absence of these that makes the path that much harder to walk for so many.
It is our heartfelt belief that the most important values which will counteract the struggles experienced by individuals who are affected by dementia are those of community and connection. That is what this blog is all about. We want to create a space for people whose lives are affected by dementia to meet one another, learn from one another, and to share their story. In so doing, we hope that a sense of hope and empowerment will be found.
So …..what specifically can you expect to find on our blog?
Stories from care partners who are caring for a loved one – lessons learned and hardships overcome
Encouragement and suggestions from professionals who are versed in self-care tools and strategies
Stories from care providers who are striving to deliver person centred care in formalized settings
Information from service providers who are working to make the journey easier for people who are affected by dementia
Information on important resources that can help in the delivery of care
Practical and creative ideas that can be easily implemented in care
We hope that those who find our blog community will be encouraged to provide their own wisdom, in the comments section of the posts and through private email messages with us…we will look forward to hearing your suggestions on topics to cover, and from watching you learn from and inspire one another.
Thank you so much for finding us, and for giving us your time in reading and participating in our blog community. For now, read on and we are all buckled in for an amazing ride with you!!!
Listen to our interview with Vanessa Vander Valk on CBC's Shift NB to learn more about the concept of our blog!