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By Jane Verity ©dementiacareinternational.com
As a care provider going into the home or room of a person with dementia, you may have encountered unpleasant and unexpected challenges where you asked yourself, ‘What could I have done differently to avoid this situation?’
Written in the voice of the person with dementia, this article enables you to discover their experiences. You will learn the secrets to prevent stressful situations by seeing each interaction from their point of view and understanding their special needs.
The suggestions discussed have all been trialled and tested in real life with great success. You may find it beneficial to read these ideas several times as there are various subtle hints to discover. The secret to success lies in focusing on the small details in your everyday interactions with the person who has dementia.
When you go into the home or room of people with dementia, you are their visitor. Take every opportunity to empower them with the feeling that they are in charge and have your full respect.
The thoughts and feelings of the person with dementia:
If you want to come into my home, I need to feel comfortable and think of you as my special friend. I do not need help – I am doing fine. I have looked after myself all my life, taken care of my family; I do not need you to come in here and take over running my life.
- Who are you?
When you come to my door, I may not recognise who you are, remember your name, nor why you are here. This is no reflection on you but on my memory so I need your help. Put me at ease so I can trust you and feel comfortable to open the door and welcome you in. Say hello and use my name so I can realise that we know each other. Then say your name and the relationship we have. I prefer to think of you as a special friend, so this could sound like, ‘Hi John, I’m Simone, your special friend from Council Care.’