Two Indians last week were conferred the renowned ‘Spark of Life’ International Master Practitioner in Dementia Care at Perth, Australia. Social Entrepreneur and a renowned Social Activist working for the welfare of Senior Citizens and People with Dementia, Sailesh Mishra, Founder President Silver Innings Group, has now become anInternational Spark of Life Master Practitioner in Dementia Care. Along with him Ms. Nilanjana Maulik (National Coordinator Working Group ARDSI) also becomes among the first Indians to become a ‘Spark of Life’ International Master Practitioner.
The Spark of Life Philosophy offers a practical and sustainable way of enriching the lives of people with dementia, their families and carers and transforming the culture of care. The focus is on How to connect, How to communicate and How to care.
The philosophy is about the quality of the connection between the carer and the person with dementia and aims at fostering kindness, compassion, empathy, respect and an attitude of unconditional love in the interactions between families or care staff and clients,’ Mishra explains.
Implementing the Spark of Life Philosophy into an organizational culture has been proven to enrich the lives of people with dementia enabling them to experience improvements in mental abilities, language, self-esteem, social interactions and emotional well-being.
‘The Spark of Life International Master Course, its magnificent holistic philosophy for Dementia Care, has not only enriched me but also empowered me about dementia care and to be better human being’, Mishra said on his return.
Incidentally, after 15 years of working in the corporate world in marketing Sailesh Mishra made a complete shift to dedicating his life to creating an Elder Friendly World where Ageing becomes a Positive and Rewarding Experience and in April 2008 Sailesh founded his organization Silver Innings to achieve just that. For his selfless in Ageing, he has been awarded Karmaveer Puraskaar National award. He has been part of National and State level prominent TV Talk show on Ageing and Dementia, he was also twice part of International Radio talk show on Dementia.
Mishra has been to Malta twice on scholarship for UN INIA 15 day’s course on Social Gerontology and International Policy and Participated in Prestigious UN OEWG on Ageing at New York. In Aug 2013 Sailesh set up Mumbai City’s first 24 x 7 Dedicated Assisted Living Elder Care Home ‘A1 Snehanjali’ in Nalasopara West and in 2016 the second home ‘A1 Snehanjali’ in Virar.
Similarly, Nilanjana Maulik has won many an accolade. She is Secretary of Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India (ARDSI) Kolkata Chapter & National Coordinator, Working Group ARDSI. She has done her Master’s Degree, Dementia Studies from The University of Stirling, and Successful Aging & End of Life Care from Stanford University School of Medicine Mini Fellowship, she is also Board Member of Commonwealth Association of Aging.
Maulik since 1999 is involved with ARDSI and is instrumental in starting Kolkata city’s first Dementia Daycare center and also runs counseling, care support, memory clinic, training for home carers, home visit, day care for dementia person, etc, and helpline. She is a strong advocate of rights and care of a person with dementia. She is also a National Award Winner and has been honoured with the ‘ARDSI: BEST DEMENTIA CARE WORKER, 2006’.