The key to a successful dementia care plan is to focus not only upon effectively managing the immediate symptoms of the condition, but also build the plan around the individual themselves. Dementia affects different people in different ways. It is a progressive illness which manifests itself via gradual physical and behavioural changes but, despite this, an appropriate dementia care plan can enable you or a loved one to continue to enjoy an independent, secure and contented life.
A person-centric dementia care plan might, for example, be based upon an assessment of the individual’s needs and behaviours, and the circumstances that trigger them, over a typical 24-hour period. Initially the care provider would begin by obtaining as much information as possible, both past and present, about the individual, their personal history, lifestyle and interests. Gathering this knowledge can help the carer to build an empathetic and understanding bond with the individual, enabling them to converse about topics which might spark positive interest or evoke happy memories. It also enables a carer to recognise, manage and avoid factors which may trigger negative emotions or potentially harmful behaviours.
By evaluating an individual’s mood, behaviour and cognition over a 24-hour period it is possible to see how they cope ‘in the moment’ throughout the day. This allows a dementia care plan to be devised which incorporates the flexibility to continually adapt in order to fully meet the changing needs of the person with dementia.
A dementia care plan of this kind would also determine the most appropriate strategies to be used by the carer in communicating with the individual, noting, for example, acceptable answers and explanations to the questions they most frequently ask.
Following this assessment of 24 hours in the life of the individual with dementia, our example of a dementia care plan would then divide the day into distinct periods such as morning, afternoon, evening and night. The transitions between key moments in the day would be sensitively managed and the most suitable strategies would be employed to ensure the continuity of provision of the highest standards of care and support.
The award-winning Good Care Group specialises in helping people with dementia to live happy and fulfilled lives in their own home by offering fully personalised care and support. You can find out more about our live in dementia care services here. Alternatively, to speak to someone about your dementia care requirements please call 0808 2522 939.