|The Spark of Life Approach|
|Written by Jane Verity|
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The Spark of Life Approach grows a culture of love, appreciation, enthusiasm and optimism, creating the best context for supporting people with dementia to thrive emotionally beyond their diagnosis.
Spark of Life is not a cure, but a gentle, practical and celebratory approach to human relationships and communication, dedicated to uplifting the spirit of people with dementia.
Although in the western world we can pride ourselves on providing high standards of dementia care - the sad reality is that many people with dementia do not thrive. Society's traditional focus has been on the physical care of people who have dementia with little emphasis placed on their emotional needs. Yet our emotional well-being is known to have a profound impact on our physical being. As a global community we've tolerated emotional neglect because we perceived there was no answer. Emotional distress and depression have even been accepted as symptoms of dementia. It does not need to be that way. DCA work with emotional needs using the Spark of Life Approach to enable people with dementia to not just survive physically, but to thrive emotionally.
The Spark of Life Approach is a practical implementation of the essence of Person Centred Care and the Eden Alternative and works in perfect harmony with their principles and styles of application. Through a practical, step-by-step approach, Spark of Life fills a missing link by working at a detailed, personal level to reach a person's deep emotional core to renew a spark that goes beyond the moment and enables people who have dementia to thrive.
Most often thriving is not even thought of as an option for people who have dementia; however, the implementation of the Spark of Life Approach has shown that not only is thriving possible, it is inevitable when the approach is used correctly.
The Spark of Life Approach is supported by the innate and proven belief that the Spark of Life can be rekindled in people with dementia as well as in all involved in their care. As a consequence of implementing this approach, improvements in memory, language, communication, social interactions and behaviour all become possible.
Dementia Care Australia (DCA) has developed this approach under the guidance and direction of Jane Verity, a leading authority on dementia care. She gratefully acknowledges the immense life wisdom and special qualities shared by people with dementia who have provided many insights towards developing this approach.
The Spark of Life Approach is underpinned by three core principles, each supported by three practical strategies to make it simple to implement the approach:
Shift Your Focus - emphasise the positive not the negative
Share Your Heart - connect with your loving side and share it in how you think, speak and act
Shine Your Light - be and show the best you can be
When we use the Spark of Life Approach, we never miss an opportunity to enrich another person's life by lifting their spirit, and helping them to grow honest, authentic, long-lasting self-esteem. Based on the genuine kindness, love, empathy and respect that come from a compassionate heart without judgement, the essence of the approach comes from deep within and bubbles out to others. This is ... the Spark of Life attitude!
DCA's aim is to provide all the tools and necessary support to assist our Spark of Life Members and community to thrive and grow and nurture the spark in everyone involved. Our mission too is to ignite this spark across the globe and create for people with dementia and their carers a whole new world of dementia care.
We warmly invite you to Become a Member of our Spark of Life Community. Spark of Life Membership is a supported relationship between you and Dementia Care Australia. We're with you for the long term in your endeavours to change the world of a person with dementia. Our Approach will transform both of your worlds and experience of dementia, lifting your spirits and enthusiasm to create a home where the person with dementia will love to live.
Further reading - Click topic
The Spark of Life Approach -Members article - (Read the full article of this précis to learn: the 3 core principles underpinning the Spark of Life Approach to dementia and the 9 practical strategies which support the approach and make implementation simple; discover the Spark of Life 5 Emotional Needs most frequently neglected for people who have dementia; discover 2 special gifts we can give to both ourselves and those in our care to enable strong, new relationships and avoid difficult behaviour.
Read how Spark of Life is igniting lives in the Kai Tiake Nurses Journal NZ!