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Roots & Beginnings

The Vicarage By The Sea was founded in 1998 with the desire to make a difference for those living with dementing illnesses.
roots of dementia care at the vicarage

Esther I. Peterson

The Vicarage By The Sea was founded in 1998 with the desire to make a difference for those living with dementing illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s-like diseases. Johanna Wigg, Ph.D., cared for her grandmother with dementia while in graduate school.

Much of the research at that time represented the demented as human shells, who lost their identities when memory failed, and behavioral, speech and ambulatory challenges began. Johanna’s grandmother, an artist and gentle soul, retained her graceful demeanor, and awareness of beauty in the natural world throughout her illness.

The experience sparked a passionate, lifelong commitment to honoring those with this disease, by offering empathic, holistic care in a non-institutional setting. Pioneers in their approach, Johanna and Dementia Care Specialist, Cheryl Golek set out to prove that social and psychological realms of long-term care for elders living with dementing illnesses could be improved.

Together, they transformed this bed and breakfast by the sea into an alternative, person-centered home for long-term dementia care.

Today, the vision continues.

Meet Our Staff

BDN: How this home in Maine is giving normalcy to people living with dementia

See us at the Southern Maine Senior Expo

Advocating for the whole person living with dementia

Person Centered Approach to Dementia Care

Person Centered Care for those living with Dementia

Understanding Dementia: Q&A with Dr. Wigg