As part of Dementia Awareness Week the Alzheimer's society has been sharing stories of people living well with dementia. These stories all have in common a person-based approach to care, that recognises the loved one as a ‘person with dementia’, rather than a ‘person with dementia’. This approach is shown to help to enhance the wellbeing of a person with dementia, and enable carers to build rich relationships and spend better quality time with their loved one, and is therefore also the cornerstone of The Good Care Group’s approach to dementia care.
Joyce enjoys walks in the countryside
Roy’s wife Joyce was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s six years ago, and they continue to live a very happy life together: “Most days we venture out exploring old and new pastures; stately homes, nature reserves, country parks, woodland walks, wildlife centres and catching up with old friends”, said Roy. Joyce can’t walk as far as she used to, but she finds nature therapeutic. Roy’s companionship, and keeping Joyce enabled in the pastimes she enjoys, are fundamental to the person-based approach to dementia care.
Ken realised his dream of becoming a singer
61-year-old Ken was diagnosed with dementia in 2011, which has acted as a catalyst for him to achieve his life-long goals. Since being diagnosed he has realised his dream of performing as a singer, even auditioning for the X Factor and performing at events to raise awareness of dementia. Maintaining Ken’s sense of self through activities such as (and also reminiscing to make use of accessible long-term memory) is another key to relating to those with dementia and helping them.
Margaret went on safari in Africa
89-year-old Margaret revealed to her daughter Joyce that she had always wanted to go on safari. Joyce said Margaret loved the experience from the moment they arrived: “People said there was no point taking her and that she wouldn't remember. That's not the point. It was her burning ambition to go on safari, even if she only remembered it for the day. At the end of the day we have to look past the illness and at the person and what they really want.” Joyce expresses well the key to a person-based care approach to dementia: recognising and validating the person, not just their condition.
Fiona Lowry, our CEO, said: “It is encouraging to see stories of people living well with dementia. At the Good Care Group, we know from extensive experience that with the right approach to care and a familiar environment, people with dementia can continue to live well in their own homes. All our carers are fully trained in using the person-based approach to build real, long-term relationships with your loved one, and to pro-actively enhance their quality of life.”