The Community Cafe's vision is to use a local space in the Canberra region to provide regular social interactions for people living with a diagnosis of dementia and their families.
The Cafe hopes to connect people going through the process of diagnosis in the early - mid phases of dementia with other people on a similar journey.
This cafe hopes to;
Reduce social isolation and stress for those living with a diagnosis of dementia and their families.
Link people to dementia services and other social support networks and share knowledge about dementia in an informal setting.
Use memory games, music, quizzes and activities to promote cognitive ability.
Provide a safe place for people living with dementia to be themselves.
Provide emotional support to each other, have a laugh and make new friends.
The Community Cafe offers a regular, safe and welcoming meeting place for people who have been diagnosed with dementia and are experiencing short term memory loss.
Provide easy access to advice from health and social care professionals and help to reduce the feelings of isolation experienced by both our members and their carers.
Our organisation aims to be one that understands its community and speaks to it; we will be innovative in doing so and reflect our society in our presentation.
The Community Café offers people the chance to connect to others, using peer support environment using a person-centred approach.
What's a person - centred approach?
Person-centred dementia care was first developed and put forward by Kitwood (1988) as a way of describing a set of values. Kitwood used these values to distinguish them from other approaches seen in aged care at the time, emphasising the behavioural and medical approaches and thinking, in regard to working with people living with dementia. (Campbell, 2018).
Brooker (2007) explored these principles further, transforming our understanding of dementia and creating the VIPS model, a guide to understanding the requirements to deliver person-centred care, recognising that there is much more that could can be done to enhance the well-being and maximise the potential of those living with this disease (Loveday, 2013).
A person-centred care approach is also about connecting with others, building and maintaining relationships, embracing uniqueness and providing a safe, supportive environment with high levels of dignity and respect for those within that environment.
This approach helps us recognise that dementia is only one aspect of a person and helps to move the focus from their disease, to who they actually are as a person and recognising the individual’s uniqueness. (Loveday, 2013)
This concept is also known as person-hood.
To achieve this at the Community Café, we will focus on what keeps individuals connected to themselves, their family and their local community.
One of my favourite speakers in the field of dementia care writes;
"We lament the millions of neurons lost to dementia and ignore the many millions that work perfectly well" Power, 2014, pg 19".
We at the Community Café celebrate those neurons!
Community Café will use Dawn Brooker’s (2007) VIPS model principles as a guide when delivering this program.
- V - We will value people with dementia and those who care for them, promoting their rights and entitlements regardless of age or cognitive ability.
- I - We will treat people as individuals, appreciating that all people with dementia have a unique history and personality, physical and mental health, and social and economic resources, and these will affect their response to neurological impairment.
- P -We will look at the world from the perspective of the person with dementia, recognising that each person's experience has its own psychological validity, that people with dementia act from this perspective and that empathy with this perspective has its own therapeutic potential.
- S -We recognise that all human life, including that of people with dementia, is grounded in relationships and that people with dementia require an enriched social environment which both compensates for their impairment and fosters opportunities for personal growth.
- Brooker, D. (2007). Person-Centred Dementia Care: Making Services Better. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
- Campbell, A. (2018). Utility of PIECE-dem as a practice tool: A tool focusing on the perspective of people with advanced dementia in residential aged care. Masters Dissertations, Department of Applied Gerontology, Flinders University.
- Loveday, B. (2013). Leadership for PERSON – CENTRED Dementia Care. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
- Power, A, G. (2014). Dementia Beyond Disease – enhance well-being. Health Professionals Press, Baltimore.