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Igniting the Spark of Life in people with dementia

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#BeMyVoice Campaign

Here is an article by Selvi Izeti, Spark of Life Master Practitioner at the Centre for Rehabilitation for Torture Victims, where the Spark of Life Model of Care is supporting the healing of trauma victims.

Selvi Izeti Çarkaxhiu,
Kosova Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims

April 14th in Kosovo is marked as the Memorial Day for Survivors of Sexual Violence during the Last War in Kosovo. In honor of April 14th, KRCT has launched a social campaign:

#Rehabilitation, healing, and justice for survivors are my obligation!”

#BeMyVoice,  which will run until June 19th, the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict. This campaign aims to raise awareness about conflict-related sexual violence, involving various local and international representatives and collaborators.

Our campaign focuses on sharing the purpose and objectives of our efforts, emphasizing the importance of rehabilitation, healing, and justice for survivors of sexual violence during conflicts. We aim to highlight the ongoing challenges faced by survivors and advocate for comprehensive support services, including medical care, psychosocial rehabilitation, and access to justice .

The campaign has garnered a highly positive response, with widespread support and active engagement from both local and international communities.

As we continue our campaign, we believe it is crucial for the global community to be aware of the consequences of conflict-related sexual violence. By standing in solidarity with survivors and advocating for their rights, we can work towards a world free from the horrors of sexual violence in conflict and ensure that survivors receive the support and justice they deserve.

Click here >> to read more about Memorial Day for Survivors of Sexual Violence during the Last War in Kosovo.

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David Wren, Global Ambassador for Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life

New 2024 Tour:  USA

We invite you to watch this new message from David Wren about his upcoming fundraising bike tour:

Please support David Wren in raising funds for Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life and their unique approach to the wellbeing of anyone experiencing dementia. Thank you.

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David Wren, Global Ambassador for Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life

New 2024 Tour:  USA

David Wren, a Professional Golfer, has travelled extensively around the world with a personal passion for visiting developing countries.  Having climbed throughout the Himalayas and completed bike crossings of Vietnam, Tibet, Nepal and South America, he set a challenge to ride ‘halfway round’ the world to raise money for Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life.

From David Wren:

What started as “Halfway around the World” in 2012 has now become an “Around the World” project. The journey has so far consisted of 6 legs with the shortest legs consisting of 1 month on the road right up to 3 months on the pedals.

From my point of view once I complete my crossing of the USA, I have completed a circumnavigation of the globe totaling roughly 28,000 kms.

The upcoming ride from Las Vegas to Tulsa will see me on the road for 23 days and the plan is to complete the 2000kms plus in that time.

Click here to read more about this Around the World Fundraising Tour >>

Please support David Wren in raising funds for Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life and their unique approach to the wellbeing of anyone experiencing dementia. Thank you.

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Transforming Lives:
Focus on Kosovo

Kosova Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims (KRCT)

Pictures taken from Feride and Selvi’s first education presentation on the Spark of Life Philosophy to their colleagues

KRCT is a non-governmental organization, established in response to the need for rehabilitative care for people who endured severe war-related atrocities (1998-1999). KRCT’s founding aim was to provide treatment and rehabilitation for torture and trauma victims and promote the respect for human rights for all Kosovo ethnicities. People who needed such support included amongst others: war survivors, especially sexual violence survivors, political prisoners, repatriated persons, asylum seekers, refugees, returnees, internally displaced persons, and statelessness persons.

Meet Director Dr. Feride Rushiti, Spark of Life Master Practitioner

Dr Feride Rushiti is a medical doctor or extraordinary vision, courage and calibre. When she was a young doctor, in her 20s she worked with a coordinated team of medical doctors who organized themselves to provide medical and psychological services to Kosovar refugees who had escaped into Tirana during the Kosovo crisis in 1999. The hardship Feride faced in her exile motivated her to advocate for rehabilitation for traumatized people in her home country.

After the war, she and the medical director of Danish organisation DIGNITY (Danish Institue Against Torture) met with the former President of Kosovo, Mr Ibrhim Rugova, to discuss setting up the first rehabilitation centre in Kosovo. In October 1999, the KRCT was established. Feride is highly regarded internationally for her work in trauma and rehabilitation, and is the recipient of numerous awards.

Feride is a medical practitioner and researcher, as well as a deeply compassionate person who works both at grass roots level as well as the highest leadership levels. She has dedicated her life to serve the most vulnerable people in society and she draws on her whole capacity to navigate around challenging issues and sensitive topics to achieve success in her work in rehabilitation and policy change.

Meet Psychologist Selvi Izeti ÇarkaxhiuSpark of Life Master Practitioner

Selvi is an experienced psychologist who has successfully pioneered her skills in the field of trauma rehabilitation, together with her colleague Feride Rushiti, with whom she has worked closely over many years. Selvi plays an active role in educating and supporting her team so they are equipped with the knowledge they need to provide specialized trauma care.

In 2021, Feride and Selvi were part of the intensive three-week Spark of LifeMaster Leadership Program supported by Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life, so they could become specialized practitioners of this model of care and introduce this into Kosovo for the first time as the underpinning philosophy for their service.

KRCT has made decision to expand its mandate to develop the first rehabilitative service for dementia in Kosovo – which will be a ground breaking service for people with dementia in her country. Feride is a respected government advisor working to bring this into effect also at a policy level for Kosovo.

Meet Florida Gashi, Psychosocial Officer at The Kosova Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims

“I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Spark of Life Rehabilitative Program Course, which has been incredibly enriching and has profoundly influenced my work.

Through this program, l have delved into a person-centered approach to dementia care that has touched my heart deeply. Learning about the Spark of Life philosophy has given me valuable insights into the profound impact of building meaningful relationships with those we care for. It has opened my eyes to the immense potential for joy, connection, and growth that lies within each person, regardless of their cognitive abilities. It was heartwarming to witness the stories of transformation and the meaningful connections that were fostered through this approach.

Moreover, the knowledge and skills gained from the Spark of Life Program Course have had a positive impact on my current work. I have seen how our clients respond positively to the person-centered approach, and their smiles and sense of contentment remind me why I chose this path in the first place.

I am eager to apply these principles to enhance our psychosocial support programs within KRCT. I am certain that by adopting this rehabilitative approach, we can elevate the quality of care we provide and make a profound difference in the lives of those we serve.”

– Florida Gashi

Experiences of the Spark of Life Rehabilitative Program Course from The Kosovo Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims:

To make a donation:

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Concert for Spark of Life

October 2nd, 2023

To celebrate International Day of Older PersonsThe Commonwealth Resounds, and CommonAge are bringing the generations together across the Commonwealth for a special online concert in aid of two charities, Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life and the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association.

Musicians from Asia, Australia, Malta, Africa, and Canada have generously contributed their time, effort, and talent to support this important appeal.

Raising funds for charity

This concert is a fundraiser and while the concert is free to watch, we invite you to make your donation, which will be shared 50:50 between the two charities, the Australian based Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life a health promotion charity supporting leaders around the world to transform the lives of people with dementia, and Music for ALS, which will fund research into Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

We invite everyone to donate to these important and life-changing causes. Every contribution will make a genuine difference.

We hope you all enjoy the concert and we thank you in advance for your support.

To make a donation:

Concert Programme

Introduced by:
Jane Seymour OBE

Speaker:
Dr Vivienne Cox,
63-year-old bio scientist and amateur singer explains how her life has changed since her recent ALS diagnosis.

Speaker:
Nilanjana Maulik,
Secretary General, Alzheimer’s and Related Disorder Society of India, Calcutta Chapter, Spark of Life Master Practitioner and CommonAge Fellow, explains how the Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life has changed lives in India. It includes a beautiful musical rendition of a poem written by Tagore, a Nobel Prize for Literature winner.

Performer:
Heerraa Ravindran, from Malaysia.

Performer:
The Joy Gospel Singers, from Malta.

Performer:
Devon Packer, from Canada.

Performer:
The Phoenix Collective, from Australia.

Speakers:
Richard Semanda, Founder, Geriatric Respite Care Foundation, Uganda, Spark of Life Master Practitioner and CommonAge Ambassador
Jesca Nakibirango, Founder of Rise and Shine Dyslexic Organisation, Uganda and Spark of Life Master Practitioner explains how the Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life has changed lives in Uganda.

Performer:
The Pan African Choir ‘Malaika’, from Uganda.

The concert was launched online on October 1st, 2023, and video of the concert is now available to view:

To make a donation:

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Spark of Life Model of Care featured
at Global Ageing Network Seminar

On Wednesday 20th September 2023 Jane Verity, Founder and CEO and Hilary Lee, President of Dementia Care International co -presented a live international seminar on invitation of Katie Sloan and Shannon Davis who lead the Global Aging Network.

The Global Ageing Network is an international network of leaders in ageing services, housing, research, technology and design. The organisation brings together experts from around the world, lead education initiatives and provides a place for innovative ideas in aging services to be explored. They pave the way to improve best practices in aged care so that older people everywhere can live healthier, stronger, more independent lives.

In 2009 Dementia Care International received an international award from Global Aging Network (then called IAHSA) for Excellence in Ageing Services for its optimistic Whole System approach to dementia rehabilitation and rementia.

The topic of the seminar was: Facilitating Best Practice with the Spark of Life Philosophy and Model of Care, illustrating the significant developments that have occurred since the award was received in 2009.

Jane and Hilary covered the 3 elements of the best practice Spark of Life Model of Care as well as the benefits from implementing the Model.

Two Spark of Life Master Practitioners provided supporting information from their practice in diverse healthcare services.

Mischeal McCormick, Owner Operator and Spark of Life Master Practitioner, Adriel House and Rest Home, Amberley, New Zealand

Mischeal McCormick is a Registered Nurse, Spark of Life Master Practitioner, and owner operator of two adjacent residential care homes specifically for people with dementia, where she and her team are creating the true meaning of home and community.

At the GAN Seminar Mischeal highlighted how they are implementing the Spark of Life Model of Care, what it has meant for her service, in reputation, in attracting and retaining staff and in occupancy.

In 2012, Mischeal attended the Spark of Life Master Leadership Program where she created her vision for Adriel Rest Home and later Adriel House – a vision to be the RESIDENTS’ home where they can live life to the fullest and where they are surrounded by love and compassion in their everyday.

Through having embedded the Spark of Life Philosophy into all care practices, Mischeal and her team are able to support people with dementia who can not be cared for elsewhere. The quality of care facilitates a positive transformation in ways many had not thought possible.

Mischeal is highly regarded by auditors in her country and has been invited to present at their conferences on how she and her team achieve excellence in dementia care.

In 2019, both dementia specific homes were certified as Spark of Life Centres of Excellence by Dementia Care International, and this annual certification has been sustained each year ever since.

James Mbatia Kinuthia, Founder and Spark of Life Master Practitioner, Sir James Care Homes, Nairobi Kenya

James is the Founder of Nairobi’s first aged care home. He has dedicated his life to serve the most vulnerable people in his community for whom there would be no other services supporting people with dementia.

As part of the seminar, James explained the benefits his service has already experienced from adopting the Spark of Life Model of Care for his clients, families and staff.

He is a CommonAge Ambassador and heard about the Spark of Life Model of Care through this network. He chairs 3 eldercare organisations in Kenya and is a recognized spokesperson in his country for innovation in dementia care.

In 2021, James was awarded a scholarship from Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life to become certified as a Spark of Life Master Practitioner, so he could achieve his vision of positively influencing the lives of people with dementia in East Africa and to enable his service to become an inspiring role model for others in Kenya.

We wish to thank Global Ageing Network kindly hosting this presentation for global healthcare leaders.

The seminar was recorded and will be available soon for viewing- we will keep you updated with the link to this.

You can view a video of the presentation here:

An Invitation to Health Care Leaders

We invite you to contact us to find out more about the Spark of Life Education and Spark of Life Model of Care in the context of your service. Please contact us.

 

 


Adriel House and Adriel Rest Home Celebrating Global Spark of Life Month

30th August, 2023

By Mischeal McCormick, Spark of Life Master Practitioner, Owner of 2 Dementia Specific Homes, Adriel House and Rest Home, Amberley, New Zealand 

On August 4th 2023 Adriel House and Adriel Resthome, both Spark of Life Centres of Excellence were featured in the North Canterbury News paper in New Zealand.

Residents were invited each day last week to pick flowers form the gardens around the homes and arrange them in a decorated recycled tin. Attached to each was a beautiful heart shape in bright coloured card with a hint on how to look after our brain, communicate with a person with memory loss, etc. and Dementia Care International’s website. Residents were then invited to present these to a total of 40 local businesses in Amberley to display on their counter and refer to the hint or website for more information.

This has resulted in really successful and positive interactions and community involvement. One of the recipiant business’s flagged the Rest Home Van down a few days later to ask if a thank you card from their staff could be given to the resident who deliver their posies and they had written a beautiful descriptive appreciation. The resident was our local policeman and he loved the opportunity to give the posies, and everyone had a great conversation, enjoying the community connections.

 


Spark of Life Model of Care In Nigeria:
The Hebron Love and Care Centres and Care Home

22nd August, 2023

By Elizabeth Aina-Scott, Spark of Life Master Practitioner and CEO of Hebron Love and Care Centres and Care Home

Spark of Life: The How of Unconditional Love

Since 2016, when I first heard about the Spark of Life, it has been joy and excitement all around me. You never can know the depth of care until you experience the true love which the ‘Spark of Life’ brings.  This new philosophy of care has so much to offer the rejected, the diseased, the downcast and the hopeless.

Through its person-centred approach, challenges are turned into celebrations. There is no down moment, as one positive event leads to another. The Spark of Life Model of Care has changed my entire perception about care, love and relationships.

Through the education from Dementia Care International, I learnt the how of unconditional love, patience to tolerate momentary challenges, understanding to shift my focus from the disease, disability, difficult behaviour and differences, and look behind these ‘4 D’s’ connecting heart to heart, soul to soul of the other person focusing on the ‘angel’ inside rather than the confronting what I call the lion outside.

I have learnt that through emotional connection, heart to heart, soul to soul, I can bring out the angel in the most difficult person. With focused attention of unconditional love, accomplishing new tasks has never been so easy. Practicing Spark of Life has made me more desirable by clients. Teaching the philosophy of Spark of Life has connected me in an unprecedented manner to the society at large.

So friends, ignite the spark and life is renewed, rekindling new hope and aspiration.

Thank you Dementia Care International, and Jane Verity and Hilary Lee. Your Model of Care changed my world.


The Spark of Life Philosophy and Its Application in Supporting Survivors of Sexual Violence during the war in The Kosova Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims

26th July, 2023

The Kosova Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims, is established in 1999, and, we have been working with survivors of torture and war time trauma, specificaly wartime sexual violence.

The aftermath of sexual violence can be an immensely challenging and traumatic experience for survivors. Coping with the physical, emotional, and psychological effects requires a compassionate and comprehensive approach. Participating in the Dementia Care International’s Master Leadership Program, it was   an amazing opportunity for our capacity building in our organization to see the survivors through the light of The “Spark of Life’’ philosophy which provides healing of deep emotional wounds, through interactions based on a profound connection, human to human without judgment, aim to foster kindness, compassion, empathy, respect, and an attitude of unconditional love.

The Spark of Life Philosophy is based on the belief that every individual possesses an innate spark—a core essence that is resilient, valuable, and capable of healing. This philosophy emphasizes focusing on the survivor’s strengths, resilience, and personal agency, rather than viewing them solely through the lens of victimhood.

Survivors of sexual violence often experience feelings of powerlessness, self-blame, and diminished self-worth. By embracing the Spark of Life Philosophy,  as therapists  we help survivors reclaim their sense of power and autonomy by validating their experiences, acknowledging their resilience, and emphasizing their capacity for growth and healing.

The Spark of Life Philosophy emphasizes the importance of creating a safe and supportive environment for survivors. As professionals working with survivors of sexual violence we incorporate trauma-informed practices that prioritize empathy, respect, and non-judgment. By fostering a sense of trust, survivors are more likely to feel comfortable sharing their experiences and seeking the help they need.

Selvi Izeti Çarkaxhiu supporting a survivor.

Isolation is a common experience for survivors of sexual violence. The Spark of Life Philosophy recognizes the significance of human connections and community support in the healing process. We  facilitate survivor support groups, connect survivors with resources, and encourage them to engage with their communities. Through these connections, survivors can find validation, understanding, and a sense of belonging.

While The Spark of Life Philosophy was developed for supporting people with Dementia, in practice  it has universal principles, that have been well integrated into our work with survivors of sexual violence. By focusing on resilience, strengths, and self-compassion, we aim to help survivors reclaim their lives and move forward on their healing journey. By integrating these principles into our therapeutic practices and support systems, we provide survivors with the tools they need to overcome the trauma and thrive in their lives beyond victimhood.

Selvi Izeti Çarkaxhiu
– Clinical psychologist and Spark of Life Master Practitioner


Help support Jo Marshall’s fundraiser for Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life

Jo Marshall, a TAFE lecturer and grandmother, is running in this year’s HBF Run for a Reason Sunday 21 May, over a distance of 12 kilometres in Perth, Western Australia.

Jo shared that her reasons for participating in this event are:

“To fundraise for the Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life.  This Foundation has a focus on supporting the wellbeing and quality of life of people living with dementia and in aged care. It’s so important to me that older peoplewho have worked and contributed all their lives should be respected and well cared for, not neglected. The Spark of Life  Philosophy and Model of Care have real and practical ways to make this happen.

Maintaining my own fitness is important to me as I know that exercise helps both physical and mental health, including reduced risk of dementia.”

To support Jo’s run you can donate directly to Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life

Bank Transfer

Bank: Bendigo Bank
Account Name: Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life

BSB: 633 000
Acc No: 143 233 328

Reference: Your last name

Jo thanks you for your support of this life-changing cause!

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David Wren:
2023 Central America Fundraising Bike Tour – Update

March 15th, 2023


“I’m getting close to halfway of the ride and crossed the border into Costa Rica yesterday. It has been hot and dusty so far but hitting the coast area today and hoping for some cooler weather.

750 kms so far cycled and 900 to go.”

You can learn more about David’s Story here:

Please consider donating to support David’s efforts and Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life:

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David Wren:
2023 Central America Fundraising Bike Tour

David Wren commenced a new Fundraising Bike Tour on March 1st 2023!

This intrepid adventure will see him cycling for 21 days across 5 countries in Central America – El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, including a final day crossing of the Panama Canal.

As a Global Ambassador for Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life, David is again cycling to raise funds for this life-changing charity.

You can learn more about David’s Story here:

Please consider donating to support David’s efforts and Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life:

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Spark of Life Model of Care acclaimed by Commonwealth Aged Care Leaders

The following article is reproduced with permission from the CommonAge website:

Click here to read this article on the CommonAge website.

Our Chairman Andrew Larpent says: “The Spark of Life Model of Care provides a transferable framework of education and care practices that are meaningful and effective in diverse cultures and in all areas of care including community and palliative care, and we are sincerely grateful for the support our Ambassadors receive from Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life.”

Spark of Life delivering excellence in dementia care across the Commonwealth

By Annie Waddington-Feather
21st September, 2022

With researches predicting global dementia cases will trip to 150million by 2050, and the World Alzheimer Report revealing up to 85% of people living with dementia may not receive post-diagnosis care raising awareness of these conditions today, through World Alzheimer’s Day, 21 September, and World Alzheimer’s month is more important than ever before.

Through this year’s theme of ‘Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer’s’, Alzheimer’s International is shining a light on the importance of a timely diagnosis and the warning signs of dementia and highlights ‘tackling dementia requires a truly global and local effort’,

However, for local sector leaders and service providers working at a grass roots level in many Commonwealth countries, there are additional challenges, such as cultural beliefs, to overcome.

Anderson Simfukwe, our ambassador in Zambia, points out ‘in the African context, there is an intersection of old age and witchcraft that needs urgent clarity and comprehension.

In a recent article entitled ‘Older Persons versus Witchcraft vis-a-vis Dementia Under the Spark of Life Philosophy’, he highlights:

Older people are mainly associated with the practicing of witchcraft due to the fact that as people age their mental capability is compromised due to various brain health conditions that include Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of Dementias. The witch finders target wealthy older men and women who are unable to defend themselves during interrogation. And dementia is at the centre of such witchcraft accusations and the witch finders take advantage of the people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other brain disorders to accuse them of practicing witchcraft. The accused are subjected to all forms of abuse including brutal killing in cold blood.

The Spark of Life Philosophy and implementation of the best practice Spark of Life Model of Care, is a specialised education and training programme run by Australian-based Dementia Care International and it is having a positive impact on those living with dementia and delivering unprecedented benefits for all involved.

In 2015, CommonAge Ambassadors and recipients of our bursary to an international care conference in Perth, Australia met Jane Verity, Founder and CEO of Dementia Care International, and Hilary Lee, President of Dementia Care International; since then, through our ambassadors and other networks, the pioneering Spark of Life Model of Care has been launched in five Commonwealth countries.

“Building relationships based on empathy, kindness, and compassion are key aspects of our Model of Care; when we met the CommonAge Ambassadors, we recognised sector leaders from many nations in the Commonwealth desperately needed resources and training to help them care for people living with dementia, and we knew we had the tools to help,” Jane and Hilary explain. “Through Dementia Care International’s charity arm Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life, over the past few years, we have provided grants for CommonAge Ambassadors to attend our intensive three-week Master Leadership Program and Quality Management System. Furthermore, we have provided ongoing support, to enable each Master Practitioner to implement the Model of Care in their service and wider community.”

“Like many other organisations, when the COVID19 Pandemic lockdowns prevented international travel, we developed and transformed our education programs so they can be delivered live via Zoom in a way that is interactive and engaging,” they continue.

Since the training went online, our CommonAge Ambassador in Kenya, James Mbatia Kinuthia, Founder of SJ Remedial Care Facilities in Nairobi, Kenya was able to attend the Master Leadership Program, and is now implementing the Model of Care in his care home and community service.

He says although we are looking forward to create more awareness, the reality is that the reception is overwhelmingly unbelievable, our daily calls and messages concerning rehabilitation of those living with Dementia has remarkably increased.

“This has enhanced level of ownership, confidence, enthusiasm and leadership felt across my team. Having our two supportive partners attending the Spark of Life Rehabilitative program via Zoom was a helpful support.”

“One of our residents used to tell others who he was, (as he thought they did not know) but after the introduction of the Spark of Life Name Memory aids, he no longer repeatedly does so. Thus there is a new feeling that he knows people know who he is, and now he doesn’t need to keep repeating his name to everyone. He knows everyone can read his name, and this has given him quite a settling and reassuring feeling.”

Read more about how our Ambassadors in Uganda have benefited from the Spark of Life care model here.

Read more about how our Ambassadors in Zambia have benefited from the Spark of Life care model here.

Read more about how our Ambassadors in Nigeria have benefited from the Spark of Life care model here.

Read more about how our Ambassadors in India have benefited from the Spark of Life care model here and here.

Read more about how our Ambassadors in Kenya have benefited from the Spark of Life care model here.

Dementia Care International offers a range of Spark of Life education programs online including:

“We are providing high-level leadership education and equipping leaders to provide sustainable and measurable quality care in their services,” Jane and Hilary conclude.

By bringing knowledge and experience together across the Commonwealth we can support sector leaders in developing countries, and contribute to making positive changes to people’s lives.

Join us in making changes to older people’s lives across the Commonwealth.

Donate, partner and follow us on social media; we are active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

Please support Spark of Life Scholarships:

This article was originally published in CommonAge.
Click here to read this article on the CommonAge website.


David Wren Interview

David Wren, Global Ambassador for Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life was interviewed radio by Todd Johnson on 6PR on Tuesday 6th September 2022 about his 22,0000 km ride around the world for the foundation and why he is dedicating this ride to his mum Althea Wren.

Listen to the interview here:

David Wren 6PR interview, Part 1:

David Wren 6PR interview, Part 2:

Please help David by donating to his fundraising
efforts for Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life:

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Special Announcement:
David Wren Becomes Global Ambassador for Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life

David Wren, a Professional Golfer, has travelled extensively around the world with a personal passion for visiting developing countries.  Having climbed throughout the Himalayas and completed bike crossings of Vietnam, Tibet, Nepal and South America, he set a challenge to ride ‘halfway round’ the world to raise money for Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life.

Consisting of over 22,000km by bike, David’s journey started in Ireland, travelling through Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, finally returning to Australia to ride the final leg across the Nullabor to Melbourne, Victoria.

David Wren shares his motivation to raise money for Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life:

Mum spent her life advocating for the rights of the disabled and their right to participate in all of life’s activities and workplaces.

The diagnosis of dementia for Mum meant sitting on a chair in a nursing home will little or no interaction with everyday life. Any signs of positiveness or happiness also left.

I wondered why people diagnosed with dementia were not given every opportunity to continue participating in life.

I came across Dementia Care International, Jane Verity and Hilary Lee. I could instantly relate to their focus on maximizing the lifestyle and happiness of people with dementia.

I thought, “How can I help”?

I had a light globe moment: “bike touring is for me”…
No matter what country you are in as human beings we all strive for the same things. Peace and security, education for the next generation, political and financial stability, fresh food, family connection and community.

In 2010 I started to hatch a plan to take a gap year and attempt a super long-distance solo ride. A 22,000km ride from my Family name ancestral village in Ireland, Athboy, County Meath, to my home city Melbourne Australia.

The ride included overland crossings of France, Switzerland, Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, China with the final leg from Perth to Melbourne via my hometown Griffith, NSW.

The trip included fundraising, with all money raised going to Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life.

Please help David by donating to his fundraising
efforts for Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life:

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Kosovo Celebrating Global Spark of Life Month

Kosova Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims (KRCT) director Dr. Feride Rushiti and psychologist Selvi Izeti Çarkaxhiu, both Spark of Life Master Practitioners, are celebrating Global Spark of Life Month, with their team. ⁠ ⁠

Last year, supported by Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life, Feride and Selvi took part in the intensive three-week Spark of Life Master Leadership Program that has enabled them to introduce the Spark of Life Model of Care into Kosovo for the first time. They recently translated the Spark of Life Education to Albanian to pioneer the education with their colleagues in Kosovo.⁠

Feride says “The Spark of Life Philosophy is an added value to our work with our clients suffering from trauma, since many components of this philosophy can be easily adapted to work with clients that don’t suffer from dementia, but who would benefit greatly from this holistic, encouraging and humanistic approach to inspire the human soul. KRCT would like to thank the Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life for the continuous support towards the capacity building in KRCT and for enriching our perspective in the field of rehabilitation”.⁠

To support the life-enriching work of Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life, click the button below. Your donation is greatly appreciated.

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Uganda Celebrating Global Spark of Life Month

Meet Richard Semanda, Spark of Life Master Practitioner pictured here with colleagues Atuhaire Daphine in the orange polo and Nabulya Oliver in the purple polo.

Richard’s organisation Geriatric Respite Care Foundation, based in Kampala, Uganda was the first healthcare service to bring the Spark of Life Philosophy and Model of Care to Africa. Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life supported Richard, together with his colleague Jesca Nakiribango to travel to Perth Australia to become certified as Spark of Life Master Practitioners. Through educating their community, Richard and Jesca are able to give much needed support and information, as dementia is often misunderstood and even feared.

Richard and Jesca have utilized their new knowledge to pioneer Africa’s first rehabilitative Spark of Life Day Centre which is transforming many lives of people with dementia in Kampala and the surrounding region in Uganda.

Meet Jesca Nakibirango, Spark of Life Master Practitioner, Founder & Executive Director of Rise and Shine Dyslexic Organisation and Director of the Munyonyo Learning Centre, a pioneering school in Kampala, Uganda for children with neurological disorders.

As a Master Practitioner, Jesca is implementing the Spark of Life Philosophy with her students, which is having wonderful results,  empowering them to ‘walk tall’ with confidence and to also become volunteers for the Geriatric Respite Foundation. The students form a special relationship with the seniors with dementia, as Richard and Jesca’s centres share the same building.

Please donate to Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life
to support this life changing cause:

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Fundraiser Buzz before World Premiere

29 August 2021 marked the World Premiere of Ruby’s Choice, a heart-warming and perception shifting film about dementia, starring Jane Seymour. The film was shown for the first time at the Australian film festival, CinefestOZ in the ‘Heart’ Theatre in Margaret River, Western Australia.

Included in the ticket price for Ruby’s Choice was a sumptuous high tea served in the art gallery foyer. In addition, volunteers from Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life, the official charity associated with the film, created a buzz of excitement with its raffle as guests arrived.

Prices comprised of sought after artwork generously donations by local acclaimed artists Leon Pericles and Phil Hollett, as well as a signed limited edition photograph from Michael Budd, producer and director of Ruby’s Choice featuring Jane Seymour in a scene from the film.

Leon Pericles, donated a beautiful limited edition etching of Lava Lamps, as well as a copy of his new book ‘Just Scratching the Surface’, about his last 50 years of as an innovative and inspiring artist.

Also abundant hampers from the Margaret River Farmer’s Market, and vouchers from Margaret River tourist attractions were part of the attractive raffle prices.

“A special and heart-felt appreciation goes to all who donated prizes, bought raffle tickets and to the volunteers who assisted on the day as well as to the CinefesOZ  team catering for the delicious High Tea. Also a sincere thank you to the team at the stunning Heart Theatre for their support in making it such a memorable event for all”, said Hilary Lee, President of Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life.

Funds raised during the raffle go directly towards enriching the lives of people with dementia globally, providing grants for equity of access to the life-changing and innovative Spark of Life Model of Care. The significant benefits for people with dementia, their families and carers are showcased at the end as part of the credits of Ruby’s Choice.

Ruby’s Choice is expected to be coming to cinemas in 2022.

 

For more articles about Ruby’s Choice: To donate to the Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life:____________________________________________________________________________

60th Birthday Fundraising Celebration at the Kirribilli Club

Lukas Bendt
Ambassador for Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life

On Saturday 15th May, Lukas Bendt, President of the Kirribilli Club, Sydney, is celebrating his 60th Birthday, with a fundraising party to support the charity he is passionate about: Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life.

Back in 2011, Lukas first became involved with the Foundation, at a Sydney Roosters home game dedicated to raise funds for Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life. Lukas was there as a sponsor of the match.  Jane Verity (Founder) and Hilary Lee (President) were there representing the Foundation. They met Lukas on the pitch in a break where they spoke to the supporters. Lukas generously committed an extra donation of $5000 to the Foundation.

Lukas has personally been touched by dementia and he was inspired by the purpose of the Foundation, to bring the Spark of Life to people with dementia.

He became an advocate and Ambassador of the foundation and was instrumental in supporting Spark of Life Education to be held at the Kirribilli Club for leaders and health care professionals. As busy executive he still committed 3 days to undertake and successfully complete the certified Spark of Life Practitioner Course.

Over the years, despite many life challenges, Lukas has stayed passionate about supporting the foundation, and together with the Kirribilli Club, made annual donations.

Lukas invites you to support his fundraising event and donate to Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life.

Ruby’s Choice

Acclaimed Philanthropist Sir Owen Glenn of the Glenn Family Foundation, is funding the production of ‘Ruby’s Choice’, an Australian Feature film by Amazing People Pictures starring Jane Seymour OBE. Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life is the official charity associated with the film.

‘On behalf of the Glenn Family Foundation, I have chosen to support the Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life with 50% of the profits of Ruby’s Choice.

This innovative film will not only help shift perceptions about dementia, but by supporting the Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life, it will also enable the provision of much needed practical help. It will enable this Australian based health promotion charity to alleviate emotional suffering and ignite the Spark of Life in people with dementia, their families and carers,’ Sir Owen states.

Ruby’s Choice is a globally important film of our time. It tells the story of Ruby, a woman living alone with early dementia and its impact on her and her family when she is no longer able to live independently. The film shows through Ruby’s granddaughter Tash’s eyes the humanity of dementia – that there is still a person there with memories, emotion and value.

The story of Ruby’s Choice shares the same heart-centred message as Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life. Ruby’s Choice is about showing the importance of love and compassion. The film role models how people with dementia can live active and meaningful lives and still have so much to contribute.

Ruby’s Choice, written by the Australian award-winning screen and script writer Paul Mahoney, was inspired from his own previous personal experiences and insight of working in aged and dementia care in Australia.

Over the past 2 years, the Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life and Dementia Care International have been supporting Producer and Director Michael Budd  and his team from Amazing People Pictures in the ground work of this film.  This boutique film production company was founded in London and is based in Sydney. Michael Budd is a Director-Actor with a vision to help Australia produce outstanding films that are out-of-the-box, original and innovative.

Highly regarded and accomplished actor Jane Seymour OBE, will portray the character Ruby, a loving person and grandmother. Jane is well known for her extensive career in film, theatre and TV and through her performance will put a spotlight on the human perspective of dementia.. She draws inspiration from her own mother who was a Dutch prisoner of war and a courageous role model.

 

A Wedding in the Hills – Spark of Life Bonbonniere

On 2nd November 2019 Nikita Marshall and Dalitso Mwale were married in a beautiful garden wedding in the hills in Perth, Western Australia. They took this opportunity to support the Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life with personalised in lieu of bonbonniere cards .

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New Upcoming Malcolm Young  Fundraiser Concert – 15th November 2019, Sydney

Since February 2017, rock ‘n’ roll royalty have continued to come together in celebration of the legacy left behind from AC/DC’s elder statesman, Malcolm Young.

For the first time this concert will now venture to Sydney. The event, which has already gone on to raise over $30,000 for the foundation since it’s inception, will be hosted at Castle Hill RSL on Friday November 15th 2019. Tickets now on sale through www.castlehillrsl.com.au

Featuring Past & Present Members of:

Simon Wright – Ex AC/DC
Ian Hulme – Choirboys
Paul Wheeler – Icehouse
Jeff Consi – Badloves
Nat Allison – Suzi Qattro Band
Spencer Jones – The Voice
Paul Woseen – Screaming Jets
Joel McDonald – Bruce Kulick / Gilbey Clarke
Paul Christie – Mondo Rock
Cynthia Gallie – Let There Be Rock Orchestrated
James Morley – The Angels
Randall Waller – Rose Tattoo
Virginia Lillye
Peter Northcote
& more to be announced…..

On sale now: https://www.castlehillrsl.com.au/entertainment/box-office/malcolm-young-benefit-concert/

David Wren- Riding Around the World for Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life – Aiming for $20,000

David Wren from Melbourne Australia has done numerous bicycle rides around the world to fundraise for Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life.

‘I invite you to follow me on my next journey riding through Pakistan in 2019 and donate to the important work of the Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life.’

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Malcolm Young Tribute Concert Raises Funds for the Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life – February 2019

The rock’n’roll royalty of Australian music banded together on 2nd February 2019 for a second year at the Corner Hotel, Melbourne to raise funds for the Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life. This turbo-charged evening of AC/DC classics was in honour of Malcolm Young, Co-founder of legendary rock band AC/DC.

Listen to organiser of the event, James Morley (Angels, Choirboys and now Whole Lotta Rosie):

Craig Newman and Stuart Frazer, from the John Farnham band, are two legendary performing artists who also played at the concert. They speak here in support of the Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life:

A huge thank you from everyone at the Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life to all involved – your contributions help to bring the Spark of Life back to people with dementia, and their families.

 

 

Watch more interviews with rock stars here >>