Learn to communicate with people with dementia in emotionally transformative ways. No one is beyond connection.
About the event
Regularly described by graduates of the experience as life changing, Memory Bridge’s ‘I Am a Bridge’ training facilitates transformations in the understanding and practice of person-centered care. The training is designed to improve participants’ ability to attune to the emotions of a person with dementia and to establish a relationship of profound trust and mutual understanding, both of which are fundamental to all forms of person-centered care. In facilitated interactions with the other participants and with people living with dementia, skills of attention and attunement are practiced continually throughout the training. Because meeting a person with dementia where he or she is, is a skill and an art, it must be learned in practice. And there are no teachers more qualified to teach carers the skills of person-centered care than actual, always unique people with dementia. Hence, the design of the course and the unique method of its facilitation.
In addition to the extensive hands-on learning, training participants explore the unexamined cultural assumptions about people with dementia, as these assumptions predefine expectations that all-too-often become self-fulfilling: what we notice is what we have been conditioned to see. Combining encounter, reflection, and skill building in a multiple award-winning programme honed over 14 years of bridging more than 8,000 people with and without dementia on four continents, the ‘I Am a Bridge’ training educates and encourages a new way of being with people with dementia—a way that can turn awkward to flow, isolation to intimacy, and loneliness to companionship.
“This course was remarkable. It did not feel like an “off the shelf” workshop. Although the tutor is an internationally renowned teacher, we were made to feel he was learning from our discussions too. The course has been life-changing for me as a care provider.”
Penny Fraser, ‘I Am A Bridge’ participant
Watch the ‘Love is Listening’ trailer
Who is it for?
The ‘I Am a Bridge’ Training Programme is for professional and family carers, of whatever level of experience. It is also recommended to individuals from organisations that teach carers of people with dementia.
Michael Verde, Course instructor
Michael Verde is the founder of Memory Bridge. He teaches and trains carers of people with dementia in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. He has a MA in literary studies from the University of Iowa, US, and a MA in theology from the University of Durham, UK. Currently, he is earning his PhD from Indiana University, US in Qualitative Research theories and methods. He is an award-winning writer, teacher, documentary producer, and an internationally recognised thought-leader in the theory and practice of communicating with people with dementia.
What is Memory Bridge?
Memory Bridge is an internationally esteemed, multiple award-winning non-profit organisation dedicated to ending the emotional isolation of people with dementia. To date, Memory Bridge has connected over 8,500 people, with and without dementia, in one-to-one relationships. Memory Bridge produced the PBS documentary ‘There Is a Bridge’, and has recently released its new documentary, ‘Love Is Listening: Dementia Without Loneliness’.
What will the course look like?
- Alzheimer’s disease vs. the dis-ease of Alzheimer’s
- Care as a being verb
- Two kinds of action: instrumental and communicative
- Getting to know our Buddies
- Circling up: Buddy visits (local care home)
- Mapping and sharing our I-land
- Meeting our Buddies
- Sharing what we’ve learned.