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LIVING the Dementia Journey

Topics: Dementia, Workforce Development

LIVING the Dementia Journey (LDJ) is an award-winning, evidence-informed training program for those who support people living with dementia.

By participating in the program, participants will gain an awareness and understanding that not only changes how they view dementia but also the way they support people living with dementia. LDJ was created in collaboration with people living with dementia, care partners, team members at Schlegel Villages, Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program, and the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA).

The LDJ program emphasizes the importance of shifting care and services to focus on a person’s strengths and abilities, and how people can be supported to live life to the fullest. The program has six core modules:

  • Learning about the experience of living with dementia
  • Improving personal well-being
  • Validating and honouring each person in the moment
  • Interpreting personal expressions, actions and reactions
  • Nurturing all relationships
  • Greeting each day as an opportunity for meaning, purpose, and growth

If you would like to register for LDJ or have questions, please email us at ldj@the-ria.ca. Learn more about the LIVING the Dementia Journey workshops here.

Living the Dementia Journey

There are two LDJ workshops available:

  • The Overview Workshop is for community members, care partners, healthcare professionals, including PSWs and staff at long-term care and retirement homes. This course can be completed in one-day in-person session or two 4 hour virtual sessions.
  • The Train-the-Trainer workshop is for organizations interested in building capacity to train and support their teams.

Contact us if you are interested in participating in an LDJ workshop!

Access LDJ Facilitator Portal

Meet the Facilitators

The following RIA Education Facilitators are located across Canada and available to deliver the LDJ Overview and the Train-the-Trainer workshops.

Carrie Briscoe

Carrie Briscoe

Ontario, Canada

Carrie studied Therapeutic Recreation at the University of Waterloo and has experience working in long-term care, community, and research with older adults. Carrie has been facilitating the LIVING the Dementia Journey program since 2018, and loves hearing stories about the wonderful ways healthcare workers are caring and supporting people living with dementia across North America.
Erika Rice

Erika Rice

Ontario, Canada

Erika has been a dementia educator for almost 10 years. She has facilitated programs for care partners, healthcare professionals and the general public. She has also facilitated a self-management program for people living with dementia where she has been inspired by the resiliency of people determine to live their best life after being diagnosed with dementia. In LIVING the Dementia Journey, members of the care team consider how to support people to live well with dementia, which why is Erika loves facilitating this program!
Jamie Lai

Jamie Lai

Ontario, Canada

Jamie is a registered social worker with a specialization in gerontology. She studied gerontology and health studies, as well as society, culture, and religion at McMaster University and completed her Master of Social Work at the University of Windsor. She has experience working in the community, long term care settings, and in hospitals. Jamie has a passion for sharing knowledge and education, and is always excited to learn more about what the different experiences of our learners bring to the table.
Jodie Walker

Jodie Walker

Ontario, Canada

Jodie studied Kinesiology and Health Science at York University. She went on to work in a variety of care settings as a recreation team member, kinesiologist and neighbourhood coordinator. She enjoys sharing stories from these different roles to help deliver the LDJ program. Jodie has enjoyed facilitating this program with the RIA since 2018. She finds that each LDJ workshop generates a special energy that motivates and encourages each person who is participating. She feels that it is a privilege to be a part of a program celebrating the continued movement towards a more caring community for those living with dementia.
Kim Cusimano

Kim Cusimano

Ontario, Canada

A lived family experience sparked a passion for supporting older adults and persons living with dementia. Through an educational background in recreation, leisure, and volunteer engagement, Kim has 25+ years of experience in the community, retirement and long-term care as a recreational professional, a leader of volunteers and most recently through volunteer involvement as Board Chair for the Alzheimer Society Waterloo Wellington and Board Trustee with The Elliott Community in Guelph, Ontario. Kim has been facilitating LIVING the Dementia Journey since 2018 and is grateful for the opportunity to learn about the perspectives and experiences of all in the caring circle. Together, Kim believes, we can positively impact the lives of individuals across the country through this award-winning program.
Leslie Parham

Leslie Parham

New Brunswick, Canada

Leslie wants to be in a world where people living with dementia have the best lives possible and actively contribute to their families and communities. (She also wants to live in a world where there is always a warm dog or two at her feet, warm cat in her lap and a hot cup of tea by her side.) Leslie has worked for Alzheimer Societies across Ontario on and off since 1997 before retiring in 2021 from the Alzheimer of Peterborough, Kawartha Lakes, Northumberland & Haliburton. “LIVING the Dementia Journey is one of the best education programs I’ve encountered, I’m glad to have a role in sharing it with others.”
Nadia Tajdin

Nadia Tajdin

Quebec, Canada

Nadia has a Masters degree in Dementia Studies and Public Health, and over 10 years of experience working in care settings as an Educator, Rehabilitation Assistant and PSW. Nadia really enjoys getting to know each of the LDJ participants at every workshop, and loves being able to facilitate a curriculum that is created in collaboration with people living with dementia and their care partners.
Ramandeep Kaur Lotey

Ramandeep Kaur Lotey

Ontario, Canada

Raman studied Honours Health Studies with minors in gerontology and medical physiology from the University of Waterloo. She has varied work experience, such as volunteering for UW Well fit program, Kin Student therapist, recreation aide in a long-term care and retirement home. She worked for a year and a half with people living with dementia as a recreation aide, which helps to understand the needs of residents and how we as healthcare workers can make their life experiences better. Her favorite part of facilitating the LDJ program is to enlighten others through sharing stories and providing comfortable space for exchange of thoughts and knowledge.

Program Team

  • Kristie Kimmet, Engagement Manager
  • Michelle Stillman, Senior Director, Operations and Planning
  • Carrie Briscoe, Education Specialist
  • Jodie Walker, LDJ Facilitator

There is no "Funding Acknowledgement" associated with this Program.

The are no "Related Projects" associated with this Program.

The are no "Related Resources" associated with this Program.

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