How to Improve Care for Dementia Patients? Ask Them

November 19, 2013

The elder care industry is just beginning to take notice of the notion of “personalized care” for dementia patient.  Historically, dementia has been treated as a disease with specific clinical symptoms.  Someone with dementia will exhibit symptoms A, B, and C and treatment options are X, Y and Z.

That’s because dementia training is often performed by individuals who have academic or with clinical backgrounds.  These folks can report the statistics and the most recent research.  Less frequently do they comment on what the illness is for the patient and his or her loved ones.

In our home care business, we find that the best dementia care will focus on how the disease affects the particular individual.  This cannot be understood without a good understanding of his or her personal history, what their life was like, what they did as a profession, what triggers they have, etc.  Having this knowledge enables the caregiver to customize strategies and interactions for the patient.

The concept of person-centered care is still in its infancy, but is increasingly accepted as a superior way to provide care.

 

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