As we commemorate Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in Canada, this exhibit celebrates the beautiful lives and unique journeys of people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia within our five Peel LTC homes. As well, the exhibit will offer a peek into our Butterfly home areas and how staff and caregivers work alongside each other to find creative ways to care for the people living in our homes.
With a growing and aging population, we will see more Canadians living with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. For every five years a person lives beyond the age of 65, their chances of being diagnosed with dementia doubles. According to survey results published by the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada in 2017, people living with dementia experience far more stigma than those with physical health conditions.
The dementia journey is also scary for caregivers, with 87% of caregivers in Canada wishing that more people understood the realities of caring for someone with dementia. Two-thirds of caregivers find the experience of caring for someone with dementia to be isolating.
As our homes continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, they remain committed to providing person-centred care and by ensuring that both the clinical and emotional needs of the people who live with us are met.
While the provincial and federal governments have supported LTC homes with some additional funding throughout the pandemic, this funding will not be enough to address concerns within the sector or adequately enable emotion-based care models.
Sustainable investments and enhanced standards in LTC are needed to allow for quality, emotion-based care to support our most vulnerable seniors into the future. This continues to be the focus of the Region’s advocacy efforts.
This Life is Beautiful exhibit invites you to explore the unique lives and friendships of people living with dementia and their caregivers, and the difference that emotion-based care that focuses on the person’s story can bring to an individual’s life.
Gerry Kupferschmidt, family member (husband) of Laura Kupferschmidt, resident at Peel LTC’s Sheridan Villa Long Term Care Centre, said: “A loved one being diagnosed with dementia can be a very scary feeling for a caregiver but having the right environment and supports can make a huge difference. It is vital to meet people with dementia where they are in their journey, and this is the biggest lesson I’ve learnt from the Butterfly model at Peel LTC. The feeling of love doesn’t end because you have dementia, in fact, dementia brings people’s most authentic feelings to the forefront, and they are not afraid to express them. By providing kind and compassionate care, people living with dementia can lead their best and most engaging lives.”
Nancy Polsinelli, Commissioner of Health Services, Region of Peel, added: “This virtual exhibit shares snippets of our efforts to create a kind, compassionate, and engaging environment for the people living in our 5 Peel LTC homes with a focus on their clinical and emotional needs. While we continue to prioritize emotion-based care in our homes through the expansion of the Butterfly model, we also keep persevering on our Council-endorsed advocacy efforts to enable comprehensive, wraparound care and supports for Peel seniors, so that they can age in place longer.”
PAMA is temporarily closed due to an airflow upgrade construction project yet still operational on-line. It is a place to explore and learn about Peel Region’s culture and heritage, as well as use conversation, questions and stories to help make new and fascinating connections to the surrounding community. Throughout the year, PAMA offers a variety of workshops and programs for all ages, families and adults. With so many different programs to choose from, PAMA has something for everyone. Operated by the Region of Peel, PAMA is located at 9 Wellington Street East in Brampton. Visit pama.peelregion.ca to learn more.