Early Onset Dementia Alberta Foundation

2019 Conference Agenda


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Conference Agenda



Beyond Dementia Care – Transforming the Future of all Care Services

Presenter: Peter Bewert

The Butterfly Model in dementia care has been implemented over the last 24 years in five countries and is now well known in Alberta.

Dementia care up until recently has generally been a ‘Cinderella ‘service. On seeing the quality of life that people experience in a Butterfly Home people began querying why people living without dementia didn’t receive this. They wanted to know how they could also have access to this model and way of living.

In response Dementia Care Matters was delighted to launch All Care Matters in the UK in 2018. All Care Matters building on the Butterfly Model demonstrates its transferability into all care homes supporting people.

All Care Matters challenges the ‘psychological retreat’ that so many people feel living in care homes. This model recreates a home where people living there take control of their own lives and in the running of their own care home. Peter Bewert will share the models elements including the learning and findings from its implementation.

Be in Control Part 1 – Financial Essentials

Presenter: Michelle Coleman

When faced with life changes, it is even more important to plan and be prepared for eventualities. In this session of “Be In Control” you will be introduced to some options for tax planning, credits you may be eligible for, and the tax impacts accessing savings or disposing of assets.

Topics include:

  • Applying for the Disability Tax Credit;
  • Credits you may be eligible to receive - Caregiver Credit, Medical Expense Credits (what are eligible medical expenses), Home Renovation Credit;
  • The potential tax impacts of changing assets and accounts into joint names;
  • The potential tax impacts of disposing of assets; and
  • The potential tax impacts of accessing funds from registered or non-registered investments.

Be sure to also sign up for the second “Be in Control” session offered by Tracy Spilde from Masuch Law for advice on planning from a legal perspective.

Be in Control II (Legal Essentials)

Presenter: Tracy Spilde

Wills, Powers of Attorney, and Personal Directives – What are they? Why do I need one?

We will explore what each of these documents do for you and for your loved ones. We will also discuss some commonly held misconceptions held in regards to considering whether it is necessary for you to have a will, power of attorney, and personal directive.

Be sure to also sign up for the “Be in Control I” session offered by Michelle Coleman from MNP for advise on planning from a financial perspective!

Building The Village Langley

Presenter: Adrienne Alford–Burt

This will include an overview of The Village Community Plan with a focus on our vision, purpose and team and more specifically, person-directed care, philosophy and culture enriched-living environments which stimulate, activate and enable

“Caregiver Coping”

Presenter: Teepa Snow

Various stress management and why caring for oneself is important.

Caregiver Workshop

Presenter: Teepa Snow

Using a Positive Physical Approach to Give Care.

Celebrations of Life

Presenter: Bonnie Hoffman

There is a thoughtful balance between mourning death and celebrating life. Small gestures and ritual can feed healing, create resilience and bolster mental health for grieving for family members, care centre staff and volunteers. What are some elements of a good goodbye? What about the “no service” request? How do we remember well? Through stories and experience, Bonnie will engage with ideas, suggestions and encouragement for the journey.

Dementia and Medicinal Cannabis - What You Need to Know

Presenter: Melissa Scheuerman

With the recent legalization of cannabis in Canada in 2018, there has been rising interest in the potential medical benefits of cannabis, including its therapeutic use for people with dementia. This talk will explore the basics of medical cannabis and will look at the current state of evidence for cannabis and dementia. With limited treatment options available for treating dementia, patients are curious if medical cannabis may help alleviate their symptoms. Many patients have questions about how to access medical cannabis, how to talk to their health care provider about medical cannabis, what types of products are available and important precautions to consider. Research on the use of cannabis in dementia is in its infancy. Early research suggests the anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects of cannabis may have a role in helping to manage the symptoms of dementia. Further research is needed to investigate the potential benefits of cannabis to patients with dementia, and new clinical trials are currently underway.

Dementia Culture Change in Care Movement

Presenter: Peter Bewert and Catarina Versaevel

Achieving culture change within a single care home or service has been described by some, as brutal, even for the brave hearted – let alone for a whole country!

Peter Bewert, CEO of Dementia Care Matters and Catarina Versaevel, National Director, Dementia Care Matters Canada will share with the audience the latest information and evidence about the experience over the last five years among Canadian homes that have adopted the Butterfly Model. The presentation will show how this culture of care impacts well-being for people living in and also for people working in care homes. Although never the underpinning motivation on DCM’s part, the presentation will also highlight the positive return on investment seen with this Model and culture of care.

Join Peter and Catarina to see how the implementation of the Butterfly Model in Canadian care homes might inform your own approach to dementia care. You are invited to take the opportunity to ask your own questions about specific aspects of the Butterfly Model and how it has influenced the culture change in dementia care movement.

Design Matters: Responsive Physical Environments for People with Dementia in Long-Term Care Settings

Presenter: Habib Chaudhury, PhD

The physical or built environment (e.g., architecture, interior design) plays a fundamental role in creation of a therapeutic living and care setting for persons with dementia. Unsupportive physical environmental features can contribute to responsive behaviours in people with dementia, e.g., spatial disorientation, anxiety, agitation, social withdrawal. Conversely, a positive environment can reduce challenging behaviours and enable positive engagement, e.g., reduce anxiety, agitation, disorientation, increase personal autonomy. The physical environment should be recognized as an important component in transformation of the predominant culture of long-term care settings. The physical setting can be person-centred by being responsive to a person’s cognitive functioning, sensory changes, preferences, lifestyle patterns and biography. This presentation will provide an overview of key environmental design principles that can support residents’ quality of life and well-being in a long-term care setting.

Habib Chaudhury, PhD

Chair and Professor

Department of Gerontology, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada



Dysfunction and dementia - personal reflections on dementia’s disruptive impact within families

Presenter: Peter Bewert

Living well with dementia is a way to adopt a positive approach in maintaining a sense of well being.

However this approach makes certain at times false presumptions about what is possible. Living well with dementia depends also on people’s past life history and past experiences being compatible with living well in the now.

Many people’s lives have involved family dysfunction, unhealthy co-dependency and constant negative disruption.

For a ‘movement’ to embrace living well with dementia effectively Peter Bewert will argue that far more honesty and attention in the care sector has to be given to the power of dementia increasing, heightening or exaggerating family dysfunction.

Therefore living well with dementia will require people working in dementia care to develop greater expertise in assessing and supporting what is possible in families or not.

Emotional Intelligence-the key to developing resilience.

Presenter: Leona deVinne

When we find ourselves living and working in stressful situations we require all the tools we need to be resilient. Unlike IQ, EQ-Emotional Intelligence, can be learned and is one of the key components of bolstering resilience. This presentation will give you some of the key, practical tools, to develop Emotional Intelligence. (Based on the research of Brené Brown)

Everyday Objects: They become therapy tools by using them in new ways.

Presenter: Lara Pinchbeck

This creative team brings a collection of films to audiences across the globe. They tell stories about how everyday objects can be used improve and/or change little things in someone’s everyday life that make a difference when an older person’s life circumstances change and they are challenged in adjusting or coping. The stories highlight everyday situations in an individual’s environment that feature care, emotional well-being, safety, and recipient acceptability. The films are co-created with over 75 resident artists (aged 60-101) who were given voice through the development of a variety of media including visuals and spoken word. They provide solutions of how to use everyday objects to illustrate how to improve the quality of life for older adults or those experiencing a disability. In knowing that folks are not homogenous, these are not generalized solutions; rather they evoke viewers to reflect on the relationships they have.

An assortment of the seven films made to date will be presented and discussed at this event!

Here is the information about our films https://vimeo.com/user87448509

Family Caregiving Journey in Long-term care

Presenter: Dr. Jasneet Parmer

A better understanding of the facilitating and constraining influences on the family caregiving journey in long-term care could be instrumental in the ways in which older people, family caregivers and staff can help to forge a community and clarify roles and expectations and support each others’ well- being, and furthermore inform policy and practice.

“Feelings Matter Most - nurturing and sustaining emotional resilience in dementia care”

Presenter: Peter Bewert

The adoption of true person centred care and relationship focused support has been slower than intended. It is 20 years since UK Professor Tom Kitwood’s seminal work ‘Dementia Reconsidered‘. The learning from the UK is that there never was an intention for caregivers to learn a new set of ‘doing’ competencies, methods or skills. Peter believes we all need to return to ‘Being Person Centred ‘as a life philosophy about the meaning of self.

His perspective is that sustainability and resilience cannot be forged until care organisations are more congruent in ‘being’ this themselves first internally and towards its own staff teams. It takes a return to attached professionalism to create a person centred organisation. He will demonstrate through a model of emotional intelligence that responding with an emotional labour strategy is the only way forward.

For individuals Peter’s message is that this is ‘An Emotional Journey’ to achieve. It requires us as caregivers to focus on being real, being attached and being congruent. This only comes from being part of a team who have learnt, developed and shared what being person centred in their own lives first means. It’s all about ‘BEING’ this not doing it.

"Finding 'Social' Solutions to Social Isolation - Lessons from P·E·G·A·S·I·S"

Presenter: Tim Henderson

P·E·G·A·S·I·S is the Pan-Edmonton Group Addressing Social Isolation of Seniors, a federally-funded initiative of the New Horizons for Seniors Program. From 2016 to 2019, seven community-based seniors-serving organizations across Edmonton received significant funding to develop collaborative approaches to reducing social isolation of seniors. If we have learned one thing, it is that isolation is a social issue, that requires social solutions. That means that it is up to us as citizens, as members of our communities, to do something about it, rather than leaving it up to governments to fix things. Isolation is a uniquely personal and social condition that requires personal and community action to reduce it.

Funeral Planning and Burial Options

Presenter: Bonnie Hoffman

There was a time when Bonnie could kill a conversation simply by asking the question, “So, would you like to be buried or cremated when you pass away?” These days, this question quickly becomes the life of the party, in many circles. What is allowed and prohibited in Alberta will be covered. Why scattering all remains can be tough on grief. These, together with, how to ensure you receive the best value for your funeral dollars will make for a fast paced and informative session.

Managing Bladder & Bowel Incontinence

Presenter: Dr. Bill Gibson

People living with dementia have among the highest rates of bladder and bowel incontinence of any group, and bladder and bowel incontinence is a very common cause of distress to people and their care partners. In this session we will review the scale of the problem, the reasons for it, and discuss several ways of tackling the issue.

Nutrition and Feeding in Late Stage Disease

Presenter: Dr. Bill Gibson

The later stages of dementia can bring with them issues with feeding and swallowing. In this workshop we will discuss the practical and ethical aspects of managing problems with nutrition in people living with dementia.

"Sharing Stories of the Journey of Dementia Validates the Butterfly Approach"

Presenter: Dorthe Flauer

Perspectives from people living with dementia, their families, professionals and site operators.

Role of Homecare to Support Family Carers

Presenter: Dr. Jasneet Parmer

Homecare has a responsibility to be a part of the health and social system that supports family carers in the community. It can serve a significant role in building a better system that supports family carers. Homecare needs to recognize that family carers are people who have their individual needs and that it is well-positioned to support them. A systematic approach, organizational support and culture shift within the healthcare system can make this happen.


Presenter: Doug Cole

3Scape was created out of a need to help residents of facilities and at home to enjoy a better quality of life. It can also act as a therapy for anxiety and depression as well as stimulate memories through the use of immersive 3d and VR video experiences. It has been piloted in front of a thousand users with very positive results and has been expanded to a multiple experience library and is currently undergoing 3 clinical studies in Canada and the U.S.