Nadine Jans is a clinical counsellor in Canada and a psychologist in The Netherlands with a Master of Science degree in Clinical & Health Psychology. She has extensive experience as a psychologist working with seniors, people with dementia, and their families.
For almost a decade she has studied concepts around healthy ageing, brain health, brain disorders, psychological wellbeing and stress reduction. She has conducted neuro-psychological assessments, diagnosed people with dementia, and provided psychotherapy.
Having also closely studied the psychological processes of people with dementia, as well as the challenging behaviours associated with the condition, Nadine has developed strategies for improving clients’ wellbeing, and helping them and their families better deal with dementia. She has coached professionals working in long-term and short-term care facilities and in assisted living.
As a research assistant in a related program, Nadine co-wrote guidelines on how to increase participation among those living with dementia in their own care plan. The guidelines also promote the involvement of family members of clients in long-term care facilities. Nadine has taught numerous first-year psychology courses in psychopathology and psychometrics. She is also trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Mindfulness.
I started my career working in long-term care facilities, where I had the honor of meeting many people who told me their stories of living with dementia. I saw the struggles, the pain, devastation and losses people underwent. I also witnessed beautiful moments of compassion, joy, and real happiness.
None of these people ever anticipated that at the end of their lives one of the most difficult changes would arise, that dementia would cross their paths. I decided that I wanted to work with seniors and people with dementia after I realized that mental health care in this area needed a lot of improvement. I realized that it could easily be me in their shoes, needing support and feeling vulnerable. Whatever age we are, difficulties show up and we all deserve excellent care and support.
I was already working as a psychologist for several years when dementia entered my own life. My dad started to change and I remember it as if it was yesterday when I came to the realization that the changes were not just a phase: that moment where you realize he has changed forever, as a result of brain damage. Things became complicated and I struggled with sadness, anger, fear, self-blame and guilt. When you’re personally involved, it is a completely different story. I learned to understand what was happening to me and how to deal with those emotions so they didn’t take over.
In 2013 I moved from The Netherlands to British Columbia, Canada, and started working with the Alzheimer Society of BC. It was then that I discovered that knowledge about best practices does not automatically spreads to all other parts of the world. Dementia has many layers, making it one of the most complicated diseases out there and dementia care can sometimes become very challenging. The number of people affected by it continues to increase rapidly, while we still have no cure. I decided to commit myself to helping every individual I can, and I aim to contribute the best I can, and that’s why I started my private practice.
I’ve created training programs to help families, people with dementia and professionals deal more effectively and efficiently with the difficulties and challenges. Now I feel it’s time to share with others what I’ve learned and what I have seen that helped so many others too.
I believe every person can improve their quality of life and that of their family members or friends. My approach, educational background, and programs are all based on the latest scientific research and best practices. Confidentiality is my highest priority. It’s very important to me to create a safe environment where clients feel welcomed and heard. I am non-judgmental and honest and always aim to provide the best service possible.”