Judi Wild with her husband, Lorne Hutter. Photo courtesy Judi Wild.

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Judi Wild, a renowned and respected Canadian artist whose husband is currently receiving transformative long-term care for his vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, is donating all proceeds from her art sales to help other BC seniors have access to the same progressive approach to publicly funded long-term care.

“With deep gratitude for my husband’s care, I am donating all proceeds from my artwork to support Providence Living’s Home for Us care model,” said Wild. “This innovative approach has greatly improved his quality of life with dementia, and I hope it will expand to all long-term care homes in BC and beyond.”

Born to be Wild

Wild was born in Alberta and grew up in the UK where she learned to use watercolours. At 14, she returned to rural Alberta where she was immersed in the beauty of the Canadian landscape, which later influenced her paintings. She is deeply inspired by the natural world that surrounds her.

Her work is represented in the National Archives of Canada and displayed around the globe in many corporate collections. She has painted Saint Mother Teresa (who was given a print of her painting) and Alberta politicians, including former Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed. Wild’s stunning painting of tigers was chosen for the cover of the 1989 Edmonton white pages phone book cover.

Early on, she was a drafting technologist for the Alberta government by day while painting at night. The meticulous work and attention to detail required in the field stayed with her, and she continues to strive for perfection and realism in her artwork. She later became a graphic designer with the City of Edmonton, which further fueled her creativity and showcased her talent globally.

Wild’s portrait of Saint Mother Teresa, who received a print of the painting. Courtesy: Judi Wild.

Fulfilling her passion and finding love

Eventually, she gave up her graphic design career and relocated to Vancouver Island to pursue her dream of earning a living solely from her painting. That was where she met her husband, Lorne Hutter. She was a starving artist on the verge of returning to Alberta when he walked into a small gallery and framing shop she ran. They hit it off, fell in love and married in 1999. Hutter’s strong business savvy helped Wild build a flourishing art career. Long before Hutter was diagnosed with vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in 2017, they traveled to art shows together while Wild’s gallery became a popular destination for tours.

A groundbreaking approach to seniors’ care

The publicly funded Home for Us (H4U) care model that has dramatically improved life and health outcomes for Wild’s husband is currently being piloted at The Views at St. Joseph’s in Comox and Youville Residence in Vancouver. Wild’s husband is a participant in the Comox pilot.

H4U will be an integral part of Providence Living at The Views (Canada’s first public, non-profit long-term care village based on the concepts of a dementia village opening next month in Comox), the recently announced long-term care village coming to Prince George, and the new St. Vincent’s Heather long-term care village breaking ground next year in Vancouver.

Plans are in place for the care model to also be rolled out within most of Providence Health Care’s six long-term care homes, starting with Youville Residence in Vancouver.

“It is gratifying to know that someone who has experienced our new model up close is so inspired by it that she is willing to make this extraordinary gesture. This speaks volumes about the value and positive impact this care model will have on the lives of seniors in the years ahead,” said Mark Blandford, president and CEO of Providence Living.

Balancing freedom and flexibility with five-star care

Person-centred, the care model does away with an institutional approach and embraces a social relational and resident and family-centred approach.

Scheduled long-term care routines that are largely established by institutional norms (such as when the kitchen has food ready) have switched to flexible routines.

Each resident sets the flow of their day – whether that’s sleeping in or watching movies late at night (a favourite activity of Wild’s husband). All resident activities are aided by a compassionate team of staff.

Not your average long-term care workplace

Residents continue to receive excellent medical and nursing care now organized and delivered with a non-institutional feel. Medication carts are replaced with discreet, secured built-ins. Meals are cooked and served in the households, creating a family-like dining experience. Decentralized nursing stations blend into living areas. This approach ensures a home-like comfort and emphasis on well-being in a non-clinical setting.

Staff honour the concept of home and understand that they work in the residents’ home. Routines are adjusted to meet residents’ needs and their quality of life takes precedence over organizational and staff priorities.

Since the pilot began, Wild’s husband has enjoyed playing piano and guitar, cuddling with the household cat, reading with his wife, and participating in the variety of activities available. Before the pilot, he frequently tried to leave with her, desperately seeking a sense of home. Now, he feels he is home.

How to purchase a limited edition print or donate directly:

To view and purchase limited edition prints of Wild’s paintings, go to www.judiwildartist.com.
To donate to the Home for Us fund directly, please visit: http://donate.helpstpauls.com/homeforus.