This week is Dementia Awareness week (#DAW2014) and Fit for the Future considers some lessons that we have learned from working with people with dementia in our Primecare Dementia Design group:
- Don’t underestimate the ability of people with dementia to make valid and meaningful contributions – in our group they have weighed in on training for staff, outcomes focussed working and supervision. They aren’t just giving the perspective of somebody who uses support, they have years of professional and life experience!
- Sometimes direct questioning isn’t the best approach and it’s best to hold conversations based on experience and introduce themes through the conversations.
- What might seem like an offshoot or a tangent is sometimes actually on topic, but the person is struggling to find the words they’re looking for. A bit of patience and they sometimes get there themselves! We try not to interrupt people as they find their words..
- We know to be aware that some of our activities/exercises may not work – and are ready to abandon them in favour of what would be better for the people in the group.
- Regular breaks help!