Introducing Spark of Life

International Award


In July 2009, the Spark of Life received the IAHSA (International Association for Homes and Services for the Ageing) Excellence in Ageing Services Award and was unanimously chosen by the jury for its optimistic, whole systems approach towards dementia rehabilitation. IAHSA represents 30 countries from around the world.



Christa Monkhouse, Swiss IAHSA Board Member 2010 EAHSA Board Member had this to say about Spark of Life,christa_monkhouse

"I was part of an international jury with members from all continents.  The jury reviews the very detailed submissions and rates them against given criteria. After this process, a shortlist is created and in a couple of teleconferences the winners are discussed and agreed on.

Spark of Life was unanimously chosen because it has the potential to reverse the declinist view of dementia and ageing in general and to introduce an optimistic approach towards re-mentia and dementia rehabilitation. The Spark of Life Approach is immensely practical and deserves a wide uptake around the globe because it addresses human needs of bonding and recognition, needs which are independent of ethnicity, gender or culture.

From the scientific side there is growing evidence, especially from neurobiology, that brain plasticity and 'softwired' human empathy  will support the 'soft' Spark of Life Approach through 'hard' scientific facts.

Research into social capital and human bonding and bridging also indicates that carers will profit from the Spark of Life Approach by being able to make a dramatic difference in the life of people with advanced dementia. Being able to help in this way  also boosts the morale of carers and data indicates that satisfied carers behave more sustainably and 'greener' than other people. Prof. Ernst Gehmacher from Vienna, Austria, asserted at the EAHSA Stockholm conference in 2010 that long-term care, transformed by innovative approaches like the Spark of Life or the Eden-Alternative, will be a strong driving force in saving our planet. All we need to do is to uncover the potential of reciprocal human relationships built by humanistic and dignified care. The Spark of Life does have this potential."