With dementia, a complex disease, the care of those with the condition has traditionally been focused on the clinical needs of an individual. However, it is becoming increasingly recognised that creative, non-pharmacological and person-centred approaches have a significant and positive impact on sufferers, helping to improve well-being, enhance self-esteem, and in some cases reduce required levels of medication. We’ve put together a guide outlining the top five things to consider when providing dementia care, above and beyond the medical needs of the individual and which can help residents live calmer, more meaningful and independent lives…
- Homely Environment | each aspect of a dementia care home should be sympathetically considered to meet residents’ individual needs, and to ensure that they feel reassured and comfortable in their space. This is proven to have a significant impact on the calmness and overall ambience of a care home, which in turn has huge benefits for the individual
- Knowledge and Understanding | each person suffering from dementia has distinct emotional and social needs, and it is therefore vitally important that a carer builds a strong relationship with the individual and gains as much information as possible about their personality, life history, and interests. This will ensure a greater understanding of the person’s requirements and a subsequent care plan which best matches their precise needs
- Meaningful Activities | it is hugely important for those living with dementia to be provided with opportunities to socialise, interact, and participate in activities which complement their needs the most. Being able to reminisce and share experiences is proven to enhance wellbeing and improve mental abilities such as memory, and can be integrated into a person-centred approach
- Relationships | as well as increasing the social interactions and activity levels of people with dementia, it helps to develop the relationship between the carer and the individual. Whether that’s simply taking the time to sit down with a cup of tea and a biscuit, or encouraging staff to eat meals and socialise with residents throughout the day
- Independence | to ensure they live meaningful lives, people with dementia should have choice and control, and the freedom to live their life the way they want to. In care homes in particular, behaviour and actions which undermine a person’s individuality and/or skills occur because staff are not encouraged to invest the time to support residents in maintaining their independence. Care providers should be encouraged to give residents as much time as they need to complete tasks independently, increasing self-worth and can-do attitudes.