Across the globe, people living with dementia are joining with care partners and family members, health care professionals, community and faith leaders, artists, academics, advocates and activists to challenge the fear-, abuse- and stigma-producing “tragedy narrative” of dementia and create more joyful, humanizing and socially just approaches to practice and policies.
Their efforts are transforming the lives of tens of thousands of people living with dementia. As important, their discoveries have the potential to transform a culture whose belief that human beings “are our brains” prevents all of us from living our lives to the fullest and stifles our collective ability to navigate an increasingly uncertain world with humanity, relationality, creativity and justice.
Join Mary Fridley and four pioneering dementia activists and advocates – Phyllis Fehr, Daniella Greenwood, Lynn Casteel Harper and Pia Kontos – for a playful and philosophical conversation about the joys (and challenges) of reimagining dementia – and how we can come together and create a world in which everyone contributes, grows and thrives.
Phyllis Fehr was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's when she was 53 years old. She promotes the abilities of people living with dementia by advocating across Canada and internationally. A popular speaker and respected activist, Phyllis is a member of the Advisory Group for the Ontario Dementia strategy and the Early Stage Working Group, a Dementia Alliance International alumni and leader of Reimagining Dementia: A Creative Coalition for Justice.
Mary Fridley is pro-bono Director of Special Projects at the East Side Institute and coordinator of Reimagining Dementia: A Creative Coalition for Justice. An accomplished teacher and workshop leader, Mary practiced social therapy for 12 years and uses the social therapeutic approach as an Institute faculty member. She is the author/co-author with Susan Massad of several articles and chapters on the Joy of Dementia, guest blogger for, theater director and non-profit fundraising consultant.
Daniella Greenwood is an international consultant, speaker and published author specializing in human rights policy and practice in long-term care. Her dissertation looked at human rights practice as it relates to citizen residents living in the later stages of dementia. She has presented her work to federal parliamentarians and as a keynote speaker, including for Alzheimer’s Disease International in 2015 and Dementia Action Alliance in 2019. Daniella is also a musician and member of Reimagining Dementia: A Creative Coalition for Justice.
Lynn Casteel Harper is a writer, minister, and chaplain. She is the author of On Vanishing: Mortality, Dementia, and What It Means to Disappear Catapult, (2020). Her work has appeared in Salon, The Paris Review, North American Review, The Christian Science Monitor and elsewhere. An ordained Baptist minister, Lynn spent seven years as a nursing home chaplain and is currently the Minister of Older Adults at The Riverside Church in New York City. She is a member of the Reimagining Dementia Coalition: A Creative Coalition for Justice.
Pia Kontos is a senior scientist at the KITE-Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and Professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. An activist academic committed to a humanistic and socially just transformation of dementia care, Pia draws on the arts (e.g. music, dance, improvisational play) to enrich the lives of people living with dementia and creates research-based theatre/film to challenge stigma and foster relational caring. She is a founding member of Reimagining Dementia: A Creative Coalition for Justice.
For more information contact