We invite you to think of not only your practical tasks in ensuring that the physical needs of the person are met, but also of the person him- or herself as a personality with their own characteristics, preferences and voice that should be heard despite their health condition. In person-centered care the main focus is not on the problem - dementia, but the person experiencing it. That shifts our attention to more individualistic approach and makes us consider not only the deficiencies but also resources within the person, which in turn has the potential of easing our work and strengthening the person in their current capabilities. Just as you deserve to be treated as a personality when receiving different services, people with dementia have the same right when receiving care from you.
Throughout this sequence you will see questions directed towards you - we invite you to take a moment and reflect of how certain aspects of care would affect you in the role of care-receiver. Never forget that you are working with a grown-up person who used to be perfectly capable of taking care of herself, whose privacy, independence and dignity must be respected.
Personal hygiene is a sensitive topic, and we invite you to approach it as such. Be attentive to the person you are caring for - communicate and observe their reactions.
It is important to ensure that the prescribed medication is used correctly, that the person is wearing their eyeglasses or hearing aids. Any changes in person's health condition must be reported to the responsible healthcare specialists. Person's complaints, changes in their behavior or moods should not be overlooked - they all might be a sign of something that requires attention of a specialist.
Critical to the person's well-being is a sense of life worth living. It can be achieved by adding a purpose and enjoyment to the daily routine, by providing useful activities that are stimulating the cognitive functioning and offering socialization.
The content in this unit is adapted from a book Essentials of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing