Tag Archives: leadership

Back to Basics in Dementia Care – Are We Making it too Complicated?

Hand with marker writing the word Back to BasicsThe number of older adults with dementia is forecast to more than double in the next 40 years.  Training people to care for these individuals – both professionals and families is paramount in improving the quality of life for the caregiver as well as the care receiver.  Is it time to get back to basics in our approach to education and training?

Attitudes, skills and knowledge of staff working with people who are living with dementia have the potential to influence the person’s well-being, quality of life and function. Training is often seen as the means by which changes in quality of care can be pursued, and there are an increasing number of opportunities for staff in dementia care to attend training courses  to help improve competence in care. However,  there is evidence in many fields that training alone is not sufficient to effect significant positive change.

Grounded in the philosophy of person-centered care is that each person is an individual with his/her own values, needs, family situations, spiritual beliefs and lifestyles.  Being compassionate, thinking about things from another person’s perspective and being respectful are all basic qualities of person-centered core values.  It is certainly not just about activities.  Core personal values in communications, engagement and relationship building are back to basics skills that are:

 

Feasible:  Uses existing resources, are easy for staff to learn and practically ensures sustainability

Is Effective: Eases physical and emotional distress, builds trust in caregivers and provides a holistic personalized approach

Encourages Family Engagement:  Provides a means for family to support their loved ones and enhances the family, staff teamwork

Improves Staff Satisfaction:  Empowers staff with meaningful tools, reduces fatigue and builds core competencies

Getting Back to Basics is the Simplest Means to Find Calm in the Chaos…

Pam Brandon is President/Founder of AGE-u-cate® Training Institute, whose Dementia Live™️ and Compassionate Touch® programs are transforming care across the US and abroad.  

www.AGEucate.com

 

 

Will 2017 be the Year of Dementia Friendly Hospitals?

Senior Female Patient Being Pushed In Wheelchair By Nurse

In my office there is a framed print of Nelson Mandela’s famous quote “It always seems impossible until IT’S DONE”.  I believe hospitals have procrastinated long enough in becoming dementia friendly and the urgency to GET IT DONE is now.

The surge of dementia patients entering emergency rooms, combined with hospital-acquired delirium (often higher in intensive care and surgery) is straining healthcare staff in their ability to properly treat patients and costing million of dollars.  Many advocates agree that dementia is the next public healthcare crisis.

While “dementia-friendly” may seem an impossible task, patient-centered initiatives aimed at improving communication skills, care procedures and making environmental improvements can create deep culture change in any hospital. In fact, patients, families, staff, volunteers and the community will create transformational change.

Let’s look at a few examples of simple dementia friendly initiatives that can be impactful in helping a patient with dementia:

  1.  Reduce noise and overstimulation in a patient’s room.
  2. Use pictures instead of words (ex. shirt and pants on the closet door)
  3. Teach communication skills to staff and volunteers.  Provide training that is impactful for everyone who comes in contact with the patient!
  4. Have simple communication/care practice guidelines available for families that incorporates communication skills used by hospital staff.
  5. Design a dementia-specific activity area for patients with cognitive impairment and their families.
  6. Reevaluate room safety, eliminating or properly disguising hazards.
  7. Incorporate researched,  holistic therapies that can reduce the need for psychotropic medications.
  8. Designate leaders that have advanced dementia training to help implement and monitor changes, and provide ongoing education to all stakeholders.
  9. Be willing to take one step at a time,  create measurable tracking tools, listen to employee and family suggestions and adjust education and training protocols as needed.
  10. Lastly, have a plan to share dementia friendly initiatives with a strong community outreach education program.  Not only will you be making a difference in helping your community, but it’s great PR for your hospital.

MAKE 2017 the year YOUR hospital becomes dementia friendly!

Pam Brandon, President/Founder AGE-u-cate® Training Institute www.AGEucate.com ;  pam@AGEucate.com