It is World Alzheimer’s Day, and DAI is thrilled to announce one of our Alumni Board Members, Christine Thelker from Canada is the recipient of the prestigious 2021 Richard Taylor Advocates Award.
We congratulate Christine, and also want to share some of her story, including this interview with Kate Swaffer about winning this award.
Christine Thelker receives the 2021 Richard Taylor Award
Finally, read why Christine was nominated by DAI member, Debbie Kaey.
Please explain why you believe Christine Thelker is a worthy candidate for the Richard Taylor Advocates Award:
First, Christine Thelker has opened a door for living with dementia that is “real”, not trying to paint an unrealistic picture of what living with dementia is like. Her relationship with the dementia community is vast and respected. She is\was an active board member, active in membership committees, action committees, host and co host, for support groups, webinars, cafe’s and special events with many dementia based and other community groups. She brings speakers to DAI for webinars, and puts together things like World Rocks Against Dementia.
Recruiting new members, she has developed one on one relationships with people living with dementia. She is not only a major promoter of DAI, she is an active Board member of DAI. Within the dementia community she is a liaison with other groups such as Dementia Advocacy Canada. Currently she works with people waiting for diagnosis until such time they are able to become members of DAI. Part of the Ed-Sig group (an environmental Dementia Special Interest Group out of Singapore) which is under the DAI umbrella. She also works with the Canadian Consortium of Neurodegenerative, Age well Canada, TREC ( Translating Research into Elder Care.
She writes for the Dementia Connections Magazine, along with several others like the Vernon Seniors Action Network ( VSAN). There are many more groups she is involved with but her love of and belief in DAI is well documented (eg: many interviews, articles as well as having written a book (eg: second one in the works).
Her support of so many has gained her much respect. She is a caring, sensitive and encouraging person, never dismissive, an empathic listener and is honest, “real” and has a gentle personality that invites you into her world, whether you have dementia or not.
Wise and discerning, she really does listen to a person’s narrative, reflecting back what they are feeling and thinking and not trying to offer personal opinion, but sage suggestions, allowing a person to walk the journey in their time.
I am honoured to know her. Her work speaks for itself and opens many doors for others, giving and not holding back anything she knows. She is very humble and I was so pleased she accepted this nomination. I hope you find in favour of this nomination.
Sincerely, Debra Anne Keay