Pioneer Network’s Hot Topics Webinar

July 15, 2021: Giving and Receiving: Creating a Culture of Relationship with Persons Living with Dementia
Speakers: Anna Ortigara, RN, MS and Chris Mulrooney, MPS, PhD

Direct care workers face many challenges every day. Leaders also face many challenges if we are to be in right relationship with direct care workers. Do we understand, and are we sensitive to the needs of the direct care workforce? Do we provide education and support to help staff to be their best selves? Do care staff believe in us?

Anna and Chris will begin this webinar by discussing these and similar questions to assess where we are from an “organizational relationship” perspective post-pandemic. They will then explore the components of outstanding person-directed and relationship-based care, as well as identify what is different or added to these components for those who work with individuals living with dementia.

Attendees will gain an understanding of theories and applications they can draw on. These will include the work of Tom Kitwood, as well as Chris’ own research on the characteristics that distinguish outstanding caregivers, such as service orientation and empathy.

If you are looking for practical tools to help you create a culture of relationship, you won’t be disappointed.


August 12, 2021: Innovative Intergenerational Arts Programming in Response to the Pandemic: Five Programs in Three Countries
Speakers: Elizabeth “Like” Lokon, MGS, PhD, Founder/Director of Opening Minds through Art (OMA), Scripps Gerontology Center; Cindy Paulin, Executive Director for Art for the Journey (AFJ); Amy Skeels, third-year medical student at Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MUCOM); Kathryn Bender, Recreationist, Trinity Village Care Centre in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada; Chloé Bradwell, Drama Practitioner, PhD Candidate at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom; and Meghan Young, MGS, Associate Director of Opening Minds through Art (OMA), Scripps Gerontology Center

Five organizations responded to the challenge created by the pandemic: How to maintain intergenerational connections around the arts when in-person visits are not possible? Three programs went virtual and two programs did not. All five programs are rooted in person-centered philosophy, yet distinct from one another. They address the older adults’ needs for social and creative engagement while providing students with opportunities to develop communication skills and to build relationships with older adults, with and without dementia, outside their own families.

Presenters include faculty members, a recreationist, a visual artist, and students, representing universities, a non-profit arts organization, and retirement communities in three countries, the USA, Canada, and the UK.

The goal of this workshop is to inspire attendees to think outside the box and consider limitations imposed by the pandemic as opportunities to diversify offerings. Videos, example artistic creations, research findings, and tools for replication will be shared.