What is this project about and why is it important?

This project is supported by the Canadian Dementia Learning and Resource Network at the Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging (RIA) and funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada under the Dementia Community Investment (DCI). These funded projects are actively developing and testing tools, resources, and approaches to promote the well-being of persons living with dementia and care partners.

The Building Capacity for Meaningful Participation by People Living with Dementia project develops and evaluates effective ways to promote the inclusion of people living with dementia, and their care partners so they can remain active and connected in their communities by engaging them in the creation and implementation of new program opportunities.

The University of British Columbia and Lakehead University partnered with community organizations to develop and evaluate supports and sustainable programs that help to promote social citizenship for people living with dementia. These initiatives include arts, social participation, fitness, and volunteer activities. Additionally, the project builds capacity through developing toolkits and resources from their learnings to enable implementation of similar initiatives.

At its core, the Building Capacity for Meaningful Participation by People Living with Dementia project aims to enable people living with dementia to participate in community life as full social citizens by using a bottom-up, asset-based community development (ABCD) approach.

Who is this project for?

This initiative was created to support persons living with dementia, program and service providers in meaningful inclusion in programs and social engagement.

3 Key Takeaways

  1. Engaging people living with dementia in the context of a research project requires patience and the creation of a safe space through relationships, which may take months and years. 
  2. In order to engage people living with dementia, it is important to have other people living well with dementia in the programming space.  
  3. Implementing dementia-specific programming benefits through a networked approach where partner agencies can implement together.

Project Details

Duration: 2019-2023

Organization Lead(s): University of British Columbia, Lakehead University

Project Team:

  • Dr. Alison Phinney

  • Dr. Elaine Wiersma

  • Dr. Eric Macnaughton, Project Manager

  • Carlina Marchese, MA, Community Research Coordinator, Thunder Bay

  • Andréa Monteiro, Community Research Coordinator, Vancouver

  • Bailey Vandorp, Community Research Coordinator, Thunder Bay

This project is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada under the Dementia Community Investment (DCI).