Caring and Nurturing Professional Dementia and Alzheimer’s Support and Guidance
We generally lack the ability to see dementia through the eyes of someone who has the illness. As a result, we have a limited understanding about the needs, wishes and desires of persons with dementia both before and after diagnosis. Persons with dementia may receive treatment though they are “not a normal person” because of our lack of understanding. It is a commonly held assumption that persons with dementia are unable to communicate their experiences and unable to lead fulfilling and meaningful lives. It has been suggested that persons with dementia are not able to maintain a sense of self or personhood because they do not have an intact memory. The reality is that people with dementia are able to maintain a sense of self, to participate to some degree in decision making, and can describe changes in their well-being in meaningful ways throughout the various stages of their disease.
We offer a Cognitive Program, which is geared to assisting individuals with any form of cognitive impairment by keeping the mind active. As physiotherapy helps keep the body fit – brain activities keep the mind fit. This program allows individuals to maintain quality of life, personhood, self-confidence and self-worth through personalized sessions and errorless learning activities.
Listening to their Perspective
Many people with dementia have a fear that when their diagnosis is made and known to others they will somehow lose their status as a whole and complete person. The stigma attached to dementia: forgetfulness, confusion, poor communication abilities, dependence, and incompetence – puts the person at risk of being viewed as less than complete. To avoid this, it is necessary to stress the importance of listening to persons with dementia. Really listening to the firsthand experience of persons with dementia and viewing the world from their perspective we can truly become great dementia care providers.
Person-Centered Dementia Care
Persons with dementia need their care providers to understand the absolute importance of personhood issues. Who we are as a person becomes even more important in the face of dementia. We are all unique individuals: no two of us are exactly alike, and yet at times we find ourselves, as caregivers, providing dementia care that does not reflect or respond to this uniqueness. Person-centered care should be our goal for dementia care.
Encourage & Support Persons with Dementia
If as caregivers we only try to compensate for the person’s cognitive impairment and concentrate solely on their physical needs, we can create tremendous distress for the person and potentially diminish their quality of life. Instead, as care providers we need to encourage and support persons with dementia in continuing to use their remaining abilities and to stay involved in their own care for as long as possible. Only by getting to know their past life history, their preferences for care, and listening to their voice can we strive to better understand the lived experience of dementia.
Remembering that this disease affects more than the individual themselves, this disease is also devastating for the families. There is great deal of fear that goes along with the unknown. Rest assured that help is a phone call away. Limestone City Home Health Care can provide you with much needed knowledge of what to expect in each upcoming stages of the disease as well as being your support system.
Together we can travel this journey with a little more comfort.
To learn more about our approach and experience with caring for persons with Alzheimer’s/Dementia, contact Limestone City Home Health Care Services in Kingston. We are here to talk, listen, support, and care.