Denmark Conference #2

After attending the Denmark Eden Networking Days, I was invited to give two talks for a meeting of the National Knowledge Center for Dementia in Copenhagen on March 11th.

My opening talk was a general overview of my “experiential” approach to dementia. I was also asked to speak about the Green House model and how it is beneficial to people living with dementia.

This second talk gave me the opportunity to further explore the potential of small house models that also employ deep culture change principles in providing better lives for people with dementia. As I have found in talks about other considerations of the living environment, what is good for people living with dementia is good for all of us, and we do not need to segregate people by diagnosis to see the real benefits–quite the opposite.

I explained the benefits of the model by discussing the three types of transformation–personal, operational and physical–that typify the best care environments. In the case of dementia, the personal component is both intrapersonal (how we view people living with dementia) and interpersonal (how we relate and communicate).

The operational features are key, because no philosophy of care can take hold in an institution; there must be a pathway to operationalize the philosophy in a meaningful and sustainable manner.

To illustrate this, I chose the values of: close and continuous relationships, choice and control, opportunities to give care, variety and spontaneity, and meaning and purpose. I then showed how the model facilitates each of these.

I also discussed the well-being domains of: identity, growth, connectedness, security, autonomy, meaning and joy, with relation to the Green House.

I also got to meet Connie Møller, the new Spark of Life practitioner for Denmark:

Aase, Connie, AP and Karin

and to enjoy the hospitality of conference organizer Ane Eckermann, courtesy of the delicious La Glace Konditorei:

Ane, Eileen and a whole lot of calories!

To see a lot more photos of my trip, you are invited to go to:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/51634449@N02/sets/72157626186745815

I’ll be blogging further here, as well as at http://www.changingaging.org later this week.

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