Principles of Person-Centred Care for Seniors with Dementia

Principles of Person-Centred Care for Seniors with Dementia

Person-centred care is a fundamental approach to dementia care that focuses on the individual rather than the condition. By embracing principles such as dignity, respect, and individuality, you can significantly enhance the quality of life for your family member with dementia. Home Instead guides you through understanding and integrating these principles into daily caregiving practices.

Embracing Dignity and Respect

Dignity and respect are the cornerstones of person-centred care. It is essential to create an environment where your relative feels valued and honoured, free from fear or ridicule.

Example: Treat your family member with warmth and authenticity. Listen to them without judgement and provide opportunities for independence and self-expression.

Celebrating Individuality

Recognizing and celebrating your relative’s individuality is crucial. Each person with dementia has unique life experiences, personalities, cultures, values, beliefs, and opinions. Respecting these factors in their care planning is essential.

Example: Incorporate your loved one’s favourite activities, hobbies, and cultural practices into their daily routine. This helps maintain their sense of identity and personal history.

Building Relationships of Trust

Trust is fundamental in caregiving relationships. Your relative needs to feel secure, knowing their confidences are respected and they have control over their choices.

Example: Be consistent and reliable in your caregiving to create a climate of trust. Ensure that your family members know they will not be abandoned and that their preferences are always considered.

Acceptance and Understanding

Accepting your relative unconditionally and understanding their behaviours as forms of communication can help you provide better care. Behaviours often express unmet needs or emotions.

Example: When your family member exhibits challenging behaviours, try to understand the underlying cause. Respond with empathy and seek to address their unmet needs rather than focusing on the behaviour itself.

Supporting Relationships

Maintaining and developing positive relationships is vital for the well-being of your family members. Support existing relationships and encourage the formation of new, positive connections.

Example: To help your relative stay socially engaged, facilitate visits from friends and family and encourage participation in community activities.

Integrating Person-Centred Principles into Daily Caregiving Practices

Create a Safe and Comfortable Environment:

Ensure your family member’s living space is safe, comfortable, and conducive to their needs. Remove hazards, ensure good lighting, and create a space that feels like home.

Example: Arrange the living space with familiar items, photographs, and mementos that evoke positive memories.

Encourage Independence:

Allow your family members to do as much as they can independently, offering support only when necessary. This fosters a sense of autonomy and accomplishment.

Example: Encourage them to participate in daily tasks such as dressing, preparing simple meals, and assisting as needed.

Communicate Effectively:

Use clear, simple language and be patient. Listen actively to understand their needs and concerns.

Example: Speak slowly and clearly, using short sentences. Allow extra time for your family members to respond and express themselves.

Promote Well-Being:

Engage your family members in activities that promote physical, mental, and emotional health. Tailor activities to their interests and abilities.

Example: Organize activities such as gentle exercise, music therapy, or art projects your relative enjoys and can comfortably participate in.

Respect Their Choices:

Involve your family members in decision-making about their care. Respect their preferences and choices, even if they differ from your own.

Example: Ask for their input on daily activities, meals, and other aspects of their care, ensuring they feel heard and respected.

How Home Instead Can Help

Home Instead is dedicated to providing person-centred care that respects and enhances the individuality and dignity of your family members. Our services include:

  • Personalized Care Plans: Develop care plans tailored to your relative’s unique needs and preferences.
  • Professional Training: Our caregivers are trained in person-centred care techniques, ensuring compassionate and respectful support.
  • Companionship Services: Offering meaningful companionship that fosters positive relationships and social engagement.
  • Resource Access: Connecting you with educational resources and community support to enhance your caregiving practices.

Integrating these principles into your daily caregiving can significantly improve the quality of life for your family member with dementia. Home Instead is here to support you every step of the way.

Works Cited

Alzheimer Society of Canada. Person-Centred Language Guidelines. Alzheimer Society of Canada, 2017.