Meet Education and Outreach Coordinator Jess Fehrenbacher


13 July 2021

By Jess Fehrenbacher

My name is Jessica (Jess) Fehrenbacher. My last name is easier to pronounce than it looks. I am working with the Canadian Centre for Elder Law (CCEL) as an independent contractor on the Engaging People Living with Dementia Project.

I have my Masters in Social Work from UBC and am a Registered Social Worker. I come to the project with experience doing group facilitation and research locally and internationally. I also bring my social work experience in health care and community settings with a wide variety of populations. I continue to practice social work with Fraser Health where I support individuals and care partners. Previously I coordinated a project in the non-profit sector with international volunteers. I have also worked on creative projects with people living with dementia.

Engaging people living with dementia about decision making deeply aligns with my values. I believe in the worth of each person and in their right to make choices about their lives. I am passionate about creating safe spaces to hear people’s lived experiences. I am honoured to learn from the Dementia Advisory Council and each person who participates in our project. Since I also work in health care, I see the importance of having tools to help navigate decision making.

I will be co-facilitating conversations about participating in decision making from July 2021 to March 2022. We will have conversations with people living with dementia, people living with disabilities, and care partners. Conversations will be in English, Punjabi, and Cantonese. We will also be having conversations with Indigenous communities. Starting in 2022, we will be doing interviews with health care professionals. By 2023, we will have tools developed from our conversations to share with health care providers and care partners. If you would like to partner with us or join a conversation, contact me at jfehrenbacher@bcli.org or 778-548-9996. You can learn more about the project here.


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