Dementia Care International
Celebrating 30 Years of Transforming
Lives Around the World
On Wednesday 8th November 2023 we celebrate exactly 30 years since Dementia Care International was founded. It is with great joy and pride we celebrate this birthday with the international community and look back on some of our milestone achievements.
“In 1993, Dementia Care International was founded with the purpose to humanise dementia care and to facilitate dementia rehabilitation. At that time there was no expectation that any person with dementia could experience improvement.”
Jane Verity, Founder of Dementia Care International
On this milestone day, a heartfelt thank you is shared with everyone from all over the world who in each your unique way have contributed to the development and the accomplishment of both the Spark of Life Philosophy and the Model of Care, with your stories of success, your feedback, and suggestions. You are ensuring the Model is dynamic and continues to evolve in line with the constant changes we all experience.
And to the global Spark of Life Master Practitioners: “You are the pioneers paving the way in each your country and each your health care service building life enriching Spark of LifeCommunities to humanise dementia care and give hope to people with dementia and their families.” We are so proud of you and the ripple effect of all your effort is spreading far and wide from rural and remote to buildup areas, from residential and community aged care to hospital and palliative care.
We look forward to welcoming over the next decade many new health care services from around the world wishing to give their residents, clients and patients the best life possible so together we can grow the international community of likeminded and like hearted organisations committed to providing excellence in dementia care.
Jane Verity, Founder and Hilary Lee, President
Dementia Care International and the Spark of Life
Our Founder Jane Verity knew from her previous experiences living and working in Scandinavia that rehabilitation in the field of dementia was possible.
Between 1993 and 2007 Jane developed the Spark of Life Philosophy; the unique attitude and practice shifting Spark of Life Education and the ground-breaking Spark of Life Rehabilitative Program.
This therapeutic program was first created for people with advanced dementia to give them the opportunity to experience rehabilitation. Today, this program has proven to be applicable and successful for people with all levels of dementia.
Through specialized education on the Spark of Life Philosophy and through implementation of the best practice Spark of Life Model of Care, Dementia Care International now provides excellence in dementia care across a global network of Spark of Life Master Practitioners on 5 continents.
The Model focuses on building relationships based on empathy, kindness, and compassion, humanising dementia care with unprecedented benefits for all involved, and reigniting the Spark of Life.
Please view and enjoy the following presentation below:
Facilitating Best Practice Through the Spark of Life Model of Care
Hosted by the Global Ageing Network, September 20th, 2023
An Invitation to Health Care Leaders
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
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.
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
Benefits of the Spark of Life Philosophy presented at the Singapore Palliative Care Conference 2023
On 2nd July 2023 Nur Sahara Kamsani, RSW Senior Medical Social Worker and Poh Shu Ning, MA AThR from Ren Ci Hospital, Psychosocial Services Department presented their successful results of implementing the Spark of Life Philosophy for people in end of life care. Their presentation was called: ‘Psychosocial Care Innovation: Reignite and Namaste Care for Persons with Advanced Dementia’ .
With the Spark of Life Philosophy as the guiding principle, the presentation illustrated how to ignite the ‘spark’ in people receiving palliative care, providing an alternative lens to explore ways to facilitate rementia. Sahara and Shu Ning highlighted their inspiring outcomes from implementing the Spark of Life Rehabilitative Program that was developed to meet the needs of all levels of people with dementia, including end of life care.
The Singapore Palliative Care Conference is a biennial conference that brings together a community of healthcare professionals, community service providers, scientists, educators, caregivers and volunteers, for a rich learning and networking experience.
This year the theme was Building Collaborative Communities, aiming to encourage inclusivity, multidisciplinary team work, as well as an open dialogue for learning in the field of palliative care amongst different disciplines in both inpatient and community settings.
Sahara and Shu Ning inspired their audience and had discussions with participants after their session who wanted to learn more about their work and how they could implement this in their work settings.
For more information on implementing the Spark of Life Philosophy email firstname.lastname@example.org
25th May, 2023
The news on Friday 19th May about a 95-year-old lady with dementia living in residential care, who was tasered by police in New South Wales (Australia), has touched many of our readers hearts. Sadly, the lady passed away last night from her critical injuries, and we have received several enquiries from very concerned readers as to how Dementia Care International’s Spark of Life Philosophy could have prevented this situation had it been in place.
Here is our response:
From a Spark of Life Perspective, we ensure the situation is viewed from everyone’s point of view not only the observers to the situation and the Spark of Life Strategy is to always identify the root cause behind the behaviour.
In this light, what went on in the hours before the police were called in, is of primary interest. The first question we would ask is: How could the lady have ended up in a situation where she felt so scared, threatened, or frightened that she saw no other way than to fend for herself with a knife. This was not a reaction to the police – this was a reaction earlier on, to something not right for the lady, driving her to defend herself. This is the point in time to address the root cause of the behaviour and ask: “What is the lady’s unmet emotional need that triggered her to react in this way?”
There is a very good chance that the answer to this particular question is to be found amongst one of the Spark of Life 5 Core Emotional Needs. In this instance, the need to be understood with kindness, empathy and compassion is the most likely unmet need resulting in such a strong response.
A relationship-based focus of quality emotional care is what is at the core of the Spark of Life Philosophy and Education and from experience we know that when applying the Spark of Life Philosophy, such a situation would be preventable.
Dementia Care International Founder and CEO, Jane Verity, talks about the Spark of Life Philosophy:
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 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:
- Half and full day programs
- 4 day certified Rehabilitative Program Course
- 3 week certified Master Leadership Program
“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.
Please support Spark of Life Scholarships:
This article was originally published in CommonAge.
Click here to read this article on the CommonAge website.
Future of Aged Care Summit 2022
Supporting Partner – Dementia Care International
Akolade’s 5th Annual Future of Aged Care Summit, will now take place on 15 – 17 June 2022 in Sydney. As official partners we are delighted to announce the agenda.
The 5th Annual Future of Aged Care Summit will address the key challenges to reforming and rebuilding the aged care sector and ensuring that older Australians receive care that is of the highest quality. Delegates will gain tools and strategies to ensure best practice governance that is centered around quality and safety, implement the recommendations of the final report of the Royal Commission and professionalise the aged care workforce to embed quality and safety into service delivery.
Register using code DEMCARE20 for 20% off the conference rate.
The conference is a unique opportunity to experience a special presentation from our Founder and CEO Jane Verity, who will be presenting Dementia Care Internationals’ inspiring vision for the future of dementia care.
Register using code DEMCARE20 for 20% off the conference rate.
To request a brochure and to register please click the button below:
Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety in Australia
Hope for a New Future
As advocates for the need for empathy and compassion to be the core of aged care, Dementia Care International presents hope for a new future with a pioneering Model of Care. This model addresses the urgent need for profound change to the delivery of the quality of care for older Australians.
The Royal Commission’s final report highlights this very issue.
Dementia Care International is an independent organisation with a humanitarian purpose to bring to the international community a sustainable model of quality care.
This new Model of Care is grounded in clinical practice and elevates the emotional intelligence of teams. It has the strength of both scientific and humanistic theoretical foundations and has been internationally field tested in practice by leaders in 12 countries.
The Model is applicable in all areas of aged and dementia care services, in residential and community care, hospital and palliative care, and can be effectively integrated into current systems.
If you are a leader in aged care interested in more details please contact
Sailesh Mishra, India – Covid 19 Support
This is Sailesh Mishra, Spark of Life Master Practitioner – part of our global community. In this time where we are isolated, these opportunities to connect are very important and Sailesh has wise words to share in his message.
Sending you and your team support and encouragement from all of us here at Dementia Care International
Hilary Lee, President of Dementia Care International, Speaks about New Teleconferences to Support your Team During the COVID-19 Events Around the World.
With the Coronavirus affecting our world, we are experiencing a time of uncertainty and stress.
Dementia Care International has developed an innovative model of care that focuses on empathy and compassion, supporting a healthy and robust culture.
If you are a leader in healthcare, and want to ensure your team feel supported at this challenging point in time, we are offering a new series of teleconferences/Skype workshops on how to reduce stress and retain empathy within your team, that will flow throughout the service you provide.
We welcome you to contact us for more details about this service.
Contact us via email email@example.com or phone +61 3 9727 2744.
Adriel House & Adriel Rest Home Becomes Spark of Life Centres of Excellence
On Wednesday 6th November 2019, Adriel House & Adriel Rest Home, Amberley, New Zealand, were officially certified by Dementia Care International as Spark of Life Centres of Excellence at a landmark celebration attended by all residents, staff, families and friends.
In presenting the two plaques, Jane Verity, Founder of Dementia Care International and the Spark of Life Philosophy honoured the homes and unique elements that set Adriel apart and appreciated the hard work and dedication that has gone into achieving this international certification.
Lions Club International Exemplary Service Award 2018 presented to Spark of Life President.
On Tuesday 22 May 2018, the Western Australia State Lions Club Co-ordinator, Sue Renton along with the Canning City Lions Club President Chris Gwilym presented Hilary Lee, President of Spark of Life with this year’s Lions Club International Exemplary Service Award.
Hilary received this award in honour of her dedication to support people with dementia, locally, nationally and internationally’ through the work of Dementia Care International and the Dementia Foundation for Spark of Life.
To read the article please click on this link:
In April 2018, The TSAO Foundation in Singapore had organised for their teams to receive the experiential education on the Spark of Life Philosophy and learn directly from the Founder, Jane Verity.
Day one saw all 115 staff members attend the new 1-day signature presentation that brings together a kaleidoscope of the best of the Spark of Life Philosophy. This had been made possible by closing all programs and services for the day.
Forty team members then participated in the 3-day Certified Spark of Life Club Facilitator Course, where they learned profound skills that can be applied to any social group program. Congratulations to everyone who passed with flying colours.
During May 2108, Staff at Adriel House and Resthome, South Island, New Zealand were invited to take part in the new 1-day presentation on ‘How to Ignite the Spark of Life – a Day on Culture Enrichment’ presented by the Founder Jane Verity. This day was repeated so everyone had the opportunity to attend including family members and people from the community.
Ten of the 41 staff members who had applied were then granted the opportunity to participate in the 3-day Certified Spark of Life Club Facilitator Course, leaving everyone enthusiastic about a future where all their residents have the opportunity to participate in a Club.
Everyone benefited from the education on how to set up and run the clubs and they came together as a team. They learnt so much that was positive about each other from the experiential exercises and the discussions shared by all.
Sailesh Mishra, Spark of Life Master Practitioner from Silver Innings Mumbai, recently gave the first presentation about Spark of Life in India. He presented to a warm reception at the XXI national conference of ARDSI on 22 & 23 September 2017 in Kolkata to esteemed international and national dementia care leaders . The conference was organised by Nilanjana Maulik, Spark of Life Master Practitioner & Secretary of ARDSI Kolkatta.
In Australia, Maggie Beer is a much loved & highly regarded TV personality and cook. The Maggie Beer Foundation’s one purpose is to improve the food experience for everyone as they age with a slogan, ‘Creating an Appetite for Life. Spark of Life features in the latest Maggie Beer Foundation Newsletter
The Rise and Shine Dyslexic Organization (RASDO) in Uganda has launched a practical activity in the form of play that can attract and promote the Spark of Life Philosophy throughout local communities. ‘Jumping for the Spark of Life Philosophy and the Children of Uganda’ is inspiring and fun!
An Illinois assisted living and memory care community will be the first senior living community in the United States to implement the Spark of Life Philosophy. Chicago-based Pathway to Living’s Aspired Living of Westmont, a 107-unit community scheduled to open soon in Westmont, IL, will provide care for residents under the guidance of their two qualified Spark of Life Master Practitioners.