Newsletter 8 – December 2018


Seasons Greetings from Dementia Connections


Looking back on 2018… I’m aware that this year has actually been full of ‘dementia connections’. In this newsletter, I highlight some of the wonderful people and organisations with whom I’ve connected this year and who are making a positive difference in the field of dementia support and care.

Looking ahead to 2019… I’ll be offering a workshop ‘Helping our loved ones live well with Dementia’ at the Bergvliet High School’s Continuing Education Programme on 24 January from 7-9 pm. To book or find out more, contact Kathy Miles on

The ‘Transforming the Dementia Journey’ course offered through Care Champ will be presented in two formats next year. Bookings via their website:

  • four 2.5-hour workshops held fortnightly, starting Saturday 2 February in Cape Town (venue to be determined), or
  • six one-hour online sessions offered weekly from Tuesday 12 February via an online platform called Zoom.

Finally, If you’re spending time with a loved one with dementia this holiday, check out my Facebook page for ‘On Holiday in Dementia Land’ – a series of daily tips to help keep our loved ones with dementia feeling safe, calm and loved on holiday.

Warm holiday wishes & blessings for 2019!




‘Transforming the Dementia Journey’ course

Coleen scrapbook

Some participants compiled an album to help visitors and carers know and reminisce with a loved one with dementia

I’m grateful to Sylvia Klopper of Care Champ for encouraging me to offer this course, and for most effectively facilitating the bookings via their website. It has been a joy to connect with the people who have participated in the three courses run from home this year.

This was the best interactive workshop. My opinions and experiences mattered as all our circumstances and experiences are unique and yet we all gained so much insight as we could feed off one another. – Allyson

I never thought I would offer an online course! But after being inspired by Lynda Smith, whose Zoom course I attended last year, I have now trialled Transforming the Dementia Journey via Zoom. It works! So, next year, I’ll be offering the course regularly so that people anywhere can participate.

Over the six sessions I was struck by how much benefit is offered for carers.  Lots of links, suggestions, skills, coping mechanisms – something carers need to keep buoyant. – Di 

I found it so helpful to get some basic lessons on what is happening to the brain in dementia … You facilitated the group well, listening compassionately to each of us, creating a safe space for intimate sharing in virtual reality. – Gayle

Individual and family coaching

Family group

Dementia can bring us closer … sometimes we just need a little help to figure out how

Dementia is a terrifying diagnosis and most of us would rather not think about it at all. So, when a loved one gets dementia, we are usually unprepared. I offer support in the form of coaching sessions and workshops for individuals and family groups. I am in awe of the courage and compassion of the people I’ve met this year who are supporting loved ones on this journey.

Huge thanks for your truly inspiring, insightful and compassionate workshop … I drew a great deal of comfort from it. – Meg


Nurtured by Nature workshops

Nurtured by Nature

Potting water-wise plants – just one of the activities at the Nurtured by Nature workshop at Livewell in November

Nature benefits every aspect of our health and wellbeing. Nurtured by Nature workshops enable those who love and care for people with dementia to experience these benefits first hand, and to explore ways of keeping those they care for connected to nature. The Health Professions Council of SA has awarded five Continuing Professional Development points to the activity!

I’m grateful to Margie van Zyl Chapman of the SA Care Forum for inviting me to offer these workshops for members of the Care Forum in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. And thanks to Rand Aid and Livewell Villages for hosting workshops at their beautiful care homes.


‘Of Loss and Love’ presentations

Probus talk Simonstown

A warm welcome from the Probus Club of Simonstown

Sharing the story of Mum’s dementia journey has been a wonderful opportunity to meet people who really want to know more about dementia and how to support people with the condition. I’ve loved the opportunity to address a number of Probus Clubs, as well as Rotary, SAARP, Bergvliet High’s Continuing Education Programme, Friends of the Simonstown Library, and the launch of the CPOA’s Sea Point Place Memory Care Centre.


Alzheimer’s SA introduces Dementia Friends

Dementia Champions training

Alzheimer’s SA trained the first group of Dementia Champions in April 2018

I’m excited that Alzheimer’s SA is introducing ‘Dementia Friends’ to South Africa. This international programme aims to develop awareness about dementia and to encourage dementia-friendly actions in society. Workshops are about an hour long and are free of charge. So, gather a group of friends or colleagues together, provide a venue and tea, and contact us for a workshop so that you too can become a Dementia Friend!