Each year, BCHPCA organizes two Lunch and Learn Series, providing a diverse range of educational sessions for both its members and the general public.

Given the themes and topics covered, this webinar series can benefit not just the hospice palliative care community but also individuals working in charitable, non-profit, public, and private sector organizations, including staff, volunteers, and leaders. It offers a practical opportunity to develop transferable skills that can support their work and community involvement.

Dementia Care for Clients and Families – A Palliative Approach

Dates:  December 4, 5, 7 & 8, 2023
Time: 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm Pacific Daylight Time
Location: Virtual
Who Can Attend?
BC Hospice Palliative Care Association Active Members Fee (Organization, Affiliate and Individuals)  $30
Non-Members Fee $45
Student Members Fee $10
Hospice Volunteer members Free

Please join us virtually for our Winter Lunch & Learn Series.

Click to register today!

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join the Winter Lunch & Learn Webinar Series.

We are very excited to have our distinguished speakers catalyze conversations, bring training and education about dementia and best practices people can apply to take care of dementia patients, the people they support and themselves while taking care of their loved ones.

Speaker: Karen Tyrell

Karen will present on Understanding the Differing Presentations of Common Dementias

Karen Tyrell, CPCA, CDCP, a Canadian Dementia Consultant & Educator brings a wealth of experience (28 years) and a deep passion for supporting older adults affected by dementia and their families in all stages of dementia.

Before relocating to British Columbia in 2009, Karen served as the Executive Director of an Alzheimer Society Chapter in Ontario, where she was at the forefront of providing essential dementia support and education to her community. She also has over 20 years of experience working in long-term care.

As the CEO of Personalized Dementia Solutions Inc., Karen has dedicated her life to this important cause and continues to advocate for those who have reduced ability to speak out.

Her book “Cracking the Dementia Code – Creative Solutions to Cope with Changed Behaviours” reflects her enduring commitment to finding innovative, non-drug approaches to understanding and addressing the behaviour changes in those living with symptoms of dementia.

Karen extends her expertise through speaking engagements and offers private consultations to families seeking practical solutions for their caregiving challenges. She continues finding great fulfilment in provide ongoing dementia education and support to frontline staff, families and the general public.

Some achievements in Karen’s career include:

  • The publication of a Therapeutic Colouring & Activity Book tailored to older adults impacted by dementia.
  • Co-creation of the “Dementia Caregiver Solutions” App, available on the App Store, offering valuable resources to caregivers.
  • A pivotal role as a Consultant on the design team for the groundbreaking Canadian Dementia Village in Langley, BC, which opened in 2019.
  • Pioneered the creation of the first Canadian online self-paced dementia certification program, known as “The CDCPTM Dementia Designation Program”, aimed at frontline care workers and professionals, furthering the cause of providing excellence in person-centred dementia care.
Speaker: Laurie DeCroos

Laurie will present on Communicating with a Client Who Has Dementia

Laurie DeCroos is the Support & Education Coordinator, First Link® and Northern Indigenous Community Outreach & Collaboration Coordinator for the Alzheimer Society of B.C.’s Northern Resource Center. Laurie is a Licensed Practical Nurse and certified End of Life Doula, and also holds a Diploma in Advanced Gerontology for Healthcare Professionals. Laurie has loved and lived most of her life in the northern communities of Alberta and British Columbia and she enjoys spending time with her husband, two young adult children and their variety of 10 pets.


Speaker: Shannon Freeman

Shannon will present on Caring for Caregivers, Interdisciplinary Team & Volunteers

Dr. Shannon Freeman is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing at that University of Northern British Columbia. Dr. Freeman has expertise in the health and social care needs of older adults in rural and northern communities, both among community-dwelling adults and those in long-term care. She holds a PhD in Health Studies and Gerontology from the University of Waterloo and an MSc in Internal Medicine and Rehabilitation from Tohoku University School of Medicine in Japan. Since moving to northern BC in 2014 to pursue research, Dr. Freeman has spearheaded and contributed to a number of cutting-edge projects in the area of aged care, including establishing CTAAN, the Centre for Technology Adoption for Aging in the North in 2019, an AGEWELL national innovation hub and collaborating center dedicated to enhance innovations in technology development and implementation to support older adults in rural and northern communities ( Dr. Freeman was awarded a Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research – AGE-WELL Network of Centers of Excellence (NCE) 2020 Scholar Award. Dr. Freeman’s interest in improving quality of life and care for older adults shows through her engagement in a range of community-partnered research activities, which are having a real-world impact on the rural and northern communities where the research is taking place.

Speaker: Marissa Stalman, BSN

Marissa will present on Person-centred End-of-Life Care for Persons Living with Dementia and their Families/Chosen Families & Anticipatory Grief

Marissa brings a wealth of rich, lived experience to her endeavors. Her professional journey includes roles as a hospice volunteer, care aide, and registered nurse (BSN, University of Victoria). She also serves as a volunteer for a Dementia-Friendly Community Task Group. Marissa walked alongside her late grandmother who was affected by vascular dementia, advocating for her hospice bed in the face of systemic challenges linked to the dementia diagnosis. Her own battle with a chronic pain condition deepens her understanding of, and connection to, the intricacies of the Canadian health care system.

Marissa is nearing completion of her Master’s degree at Simon Fraser University in the Gerontology Department. Her final project delves into the empirical literature on end-of-life care for individuals with dementia and their families or chosen families, employing a person-centred approach for her scoping review.

Her research interests are multifaceted, including hospice palliative care, long-term care, dementia, Indigenous health and stories, healthcare policy, caregiving, and the dynamics of the not-for-profit sector.

Presentation:  Person-centred End-of-Life Care for Persons Living with Dementia and their Families or Chosen Families

A global rise in the prevalence of dementia should challenge us to explore how our health and social care systems are meeting the needs of those affected. Research shows that individuals living with dementia frequently receive inadequate palliative care. Considering the terminal nature and progression of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, a palliative approach not only aligns with the diagnoses, but also holds the potential to significantly improve the quality of life for those affected.

Increasingly, hospice and palliative care teams will be called upon to support persons living with dementia. Employing a person-centred lens, Marissa will offer an overview of the evolving care models and discuss how we might adapt to meet the needs of people with dementia. A synopsis of current research in this area will be coupled with practical tools for supporting persons living with dementia and their families or chosen families.

Emphasis will also be placed on inclusivity and equitable access in hospice palliative care as she broadens the discussion to encompass some of the end-of-life care needs of marginalized communities affected by dementia, including the 2SLGBTQI community and Indigenous populations. By advocating for tailored care approaches, Marissa calls for a more inclusive and responsive healthcare system that caters to the diverse needs of all individuals living with dementia at the end of life.

About BC Hospice Palliative Care Association

BC Hospice Palliative Care Association is a not-for-profit, public membership organization, which has been representing individuals and organizations committed to promoting and delivering hospice/palliative care to British Columbians since 1986. We are focused on Advocacy, Education, Membership Support and Public Awareness.

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