Hi Mikey, Reading some of your responses as you suggested. I’m a nurse with over 20 years working with people who have dementia. I also have a masters degree in geriatric long term care. You make a point I agree with. There is so much to learn and our patients keep teaching us. We never learn it all.
I believe in what I call common sense dementia care. The story you read about Elizabeth is just one of many in my book. The idea of her story was that we can change the mood of people with dementia by doing something for them that they enjoy. If someone is being negative, do something positive. We all do this for ourselves every now and then. For some people it is a chocolate kiss, for others a cup of tea or a cigar. Hot bath? Massage?, Petting your dog? If we can discover what they like, it’s easier to work with people who have dementia and adds a little happiness to their day.
My guidelines for common sense care are simple. Here are 4 of the 15.
! Put yourself in the place of the person with dementia to find a solution to their problems
2. Communication is key. Approach the person with dementia from the front, communicate at eye level (standing above them is threatening) Speak slowly and distinctly in simple terms and short sentences and monitor your body language. You can be saying wonderful things, but if there is a frown or stress on your face, that is what a person picks up.
3. Validate the feelings of people with dementia.
4. Consider the whole person, not just the dementia.
Sounds like you are already moving in this direction. It is rare to find someone with your compassion. I’ve delt with many nursing assistants for whom it was just a job. I’d rather hire people like you.