“When Margaret and I first met, we decided to get to know one another through a reminiscence project. I completed a memory book of her life’s story and together we read it through… Page by page, with each memory leading to a warm conversation, a hearty laugh, or a thoughtful silence. Margaret read the last page, turned it over, and smirked. ‘So what; that’s it? My life’s over?’ I smirked back. In that one moment it became clear, I was inspired.
How could life be over when you’re still living and breathing? After all she was still Margaret Ellis; compassionate, curious, and caring, with a life to live and no regrets behind her. Although her physical self was changing, Margaret’s ability shined through wisdom; her ninety-three years of knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight. Together, we embarked on a battle of ability against the misconceived perceptions in life that Margaret and many others often face… …The stigma that in need we are less able.
Margaret battled repeated acts of stigma from health care professionals and community resource personnel. She faced many challenges when expressing herself and her actions were often devalued and ignored. Although Margaret fought each and every obstacle with every bit of strength she had, her sense of vitality diminished and the external barriers overcame us.
The Ellis Method reflects the wisdom of Margaret herself and the light her situation shined on the value in vitality. Our method is rooted in Margaret’s life lesson, shifting the perspective of individuals in need from ‘less able’ to ‘wise able’. We are the experts of our own life experience. With loving-kindness we value vitality in all beings; the genuine sense of wellbeing defined from our personal experience in life. Our approach values dignity, encouragement, and possibilities, from a humble position of working together within everyday life. The Ellis Method strives for a world with harmony between our lived expectations and experiences in life.”
Stephanie Butchart, TEM Founder
“Stephanie became a case worker for my mother about a year after my sister died in 2014, leaving my mother in a retirement residence without any family to care for her (both my sister and I live outside of the province). My mother took to Stephanie quickly and we soon felt that she was part of the family and I was able to communicate with her openly at any time to discuss any issues and concerns that I had regarding my mother and her well-being. Stephanie advocated for change in the private care residence to reflect those in the legislated ones with regard to individual care plans and activities for the seniors. Stephanie has a calming quality about her and has a deep understanding of the needs and feelings of those with whom she interacts. If there was anyone I would want in my corner to support, care, and advocate for me it would be Stephanie.”
Leighton Ellis, son of Mrs. Margaret Ellis