Personhood is a recognition of the value of all human beings (regardless of race, sex, disability, age or cognitive ability) and is a status that one individual bestows upon another. In upholding personhood many societal factors are involved, such as culture, availability of support and services and, unfortunately, the negative attitudes that many professionals hold towards dementia may also diminish personhood. Personhood can be supported by a variety of different methods and interventions.
Building on the work of Kitwood, Naomi Feil’s (2002) approach of ‘validation’ recognises the subjective experience of a person’s experience. By recognising who the person is and that in order to offer individual and empathic care we need to properly acknowledge and understand the various elements that make a person unique. We also draw upon the evidence base for Reminiscence and life story work. Pam Schweitzer (1998) stresses that family carers might find revising the past improves their current relationship with the person they care for.
Homecare workers may find reminiscence similarly helpful when caring for a person with dementia to assist with developing a relationship and understand of the persons feelings. Approaches such as life review, creating life history boxes or books, going out to visit memorable places, discussion groups, looking at family photo albums or listening to favourite music all would fit under the umbrella of reminiscence.
Our highly personalised and fully-managed dementia care services are designed to enable people with dementia to enjoy the best possible quality of life whilst receiving the care they need in the comforting and familiar surroundings of their own home. You can find out more about our one-to-one dementia care services here. Alternatively, to speak to someone about your dementia care requirements please call us on 020 3728 7577.