The Geri-Arctics Ellesmere Island Expedition 2019

Vancouver’s own “Restaurant of Mistaken Orders”

An idea first conceptualized in Japan, “The Restaurant of Mistaken Orders” made its way to Vancouver last weekend. Organized by the Japanese Dementia Support Association, this small, celebratory event presented a delicious vegan meal (complete with the choice of either mango or caramel pudding) to community members at a Vancouver café. Service was provided by a local community member living with dementia. A positive, supportive environment allowed for new friendships to be formed (I received this photo of the meal from my new friend!) and encouraged acceptance of people living with dementia in the community as fully participating and contributing members in our community—promoting the path toward a dementia-friendly Vancouver.

To learn about events organized by the Japanese Dementia Support Association, email:

Information on the original “Restaurant of Mistaken Orders”:

Life story work practice with Deaf sign language users living with dementia (and a reminder of the importance of seeking out your community’s existing assets).

Last Thursday, October 3rd, the CRPD had the privilege of hosting Dr. Emma Ferguson-Coleman from the University of Manchester for a colloquium on her work with Deaf sign language users living with dementia. The very personal stories of families in the UK who face multiple barriers to care and support were shared alongside instances of joy and connection made possible through the power of reconnection with old memories. Through exploring what determines personally meaningful memories for a Deaf person living with dementia, Dr. Ferguson-Coleman facilitated the repairing process of existing social bonds within families.

Dr. Ferguson-Coleman has helped shed light on ongoing issues within our wider communities concerning stigma against dementia and stigma against the Deaf community. Understanding how these stigmas intersect and affect different individuals living within various social circles is critical to working towards eliminating obstacles to accessing support.

Each attendee of Dr. Ferguson-Coleman’s presentation entered the room with a different understanding of what it might mean to be a Deaf sign language user living with dementia, but all attendees shared a common goal—to learn from Dr. Ferguson-Coleman and connect with other curious individuals.

An unexpected result of this colloquium was in line with exactly what CRPD colloquiums strive to achieve. Connections within the audience were fostered through discussion—both professional and deeply personal. Health care providers working in the Vancouver area within different capacities, including social workers and recreational therapists, shared current problems being faced in their practice and received support and the promise of collaboration to achieve better care for clients in need. Sometimes it may take the words of someone visiting from many miles away for us to become aware of assets already existing in our local communities. This is a reminder of the importance of seeking out local community assets and making your own assets accessible to fellow community members.

As our discussion came to a close, the lights in the room—controlled by motion sensors—clicked off. As Dr. Ferguson-Coleman described, someone may flash overhead lights on and off to signal one’s attention within the Deaf community. This capture of attention mirrored the informative and motivating outcomes of Dr. Ferguson-Coleman’s presentation. We welcome her back anytime.

Upcoming Community Events

A few events to look out for in the next few weeks:

Screening of “I Go Gaga, My Dear” in Richmond, BC on Sunday, September 22nd. This very personal documentary allows the viewer to follow the lives of an elderly Japanese couple through the lens of their documentarian daughter. “My mother has dementia, my father is hard of hearing, and I live away from home.” “A documentary of an elderly couple, filmed by their daughter, over 1200 days.”


“Mistaken Orders by Orange Cafe” in Vancouver, BC on Saturday,October 5th. This event features people living with dementia as servers in a cafe.
Short video explaining the origins of the Mistaken Orders concept:

Dementia Advocacy Canada: Online Federal Forum on Dementia

Register for Dementia Advocacy Canada’s Online Federal Forum on Dementia. On Thursday, September 19th from 7:00pm-9:00pm EST (4:00pm-6:00pm PST), learn more about how Canada’s federal political parties plan to implement the National Dementia Strategy.

link for registration:…/…/WN_PlGKmiMzQeqFRljOfUwkAA

link to Dementia Advocacy Canada’s website: 

link for National Dementia Strategy:…/diseases-con…/dementia-strategy.html

Dementia Without Borders a Success!

A big thank you to everyone who joined us at our Dementia Without Borders celebration on July 3rd! Community members from both sides of the border gathered at the Peace Arch Provincial Park to celebrate support of dementia-friendly communities. The Centre for Research on Personhood in Dementia and UW Memory and Brain Wellness Center co-hosted the party which featured art, music, and poetry created and performed by people in the memory loss community. Bellingham’s Dementia Support Northwest provided food preparation, music, and volunteers and we were honoured with a beautiful Tai Chi demonstration by a local Vancouver group. Dementia Without Borders provided an opportunity for motivated individuals in both Canada and the United States to discover new friendships founded through support for more inclusive, unified communities.

Links to news stories about this event are included below.

National Dementia Strategy for Canada

EXCITING NEWS! Canada joined the host of other countries when they finally announced a National Dementia Framework last week. The strategy has three main objectives: to prevent dementia; to advance therapies and find a cure; and to improve the quality of life of people living with dementia and caregivers. Here is a link to the full document:
Jim Mann, a well-known BC dementia advocate and active researcher with the CRPD, was a member of the Ministerial Advisory Board on Dementia and is pictured below at the national unveiling of the document in Ottawa!

Putting Social Citizenship into Action

This is an invitation for people with lived experience of dementia living in the community to take part in a collaborative study. We are hoping to work together on this new project to identify strategies for reducing stigma, promoting community inclusion, and living well with each other in the community.

Please get in touch with Ania Landy if you are interested in learning more about this project at

Dementia Without Borders Poster

Dr. Hildur Kalman