February 11, 2019

Three reasons to work with person-centered care

Person-centered care in dementia is gradually becoming an internationally recognized best-practice model and is recommended by many policies and practice guidelines. However, it is often considered that this care model is much less cost-effective than previous efficiency-focused solutions. Thus, although no one would want to admit that they do not want improvement in care quality, person-centered solutions are often hindered by their alleged unprofitability.

At Minnity, we see person-centered care as a model that improves care efficiency in the long run, and we know that an investment in offering a truly person-centered approach yields multiple benefits, supported by research. How is that possible?

Firstly, working in a person-centered way not only lowers depression rates among the caretakers, but also reduces caretaker agitation and aggression, which results in better care management and time savings.

Secondly, with proper focus on the person and their unique needs and preferences, we can reduce the number of hospitalisations and psychotropic medication, which directly lowers care costs.

Thirdly, research shows that in residential units where person-centered care is introduced, the staff experiences less stress and burnout and higher satisfaction rates. This is a strong argument for the financial benefit of person-centered care as staff turnover is particularly high in the social care sector.

In practice, person-centered care means developing a relationship with those you care for, and requires better knowledge of the person and their unique life circumstances and individual preferences. This is also why Minnity creates intuitive, quick to use digital solutions that help you understand the people you care for and develop your person-centered care skills.

Read more:

January 11, 2019

Five tips on what to do in difficult situations with patients with dementia

People with dementia often find it hard to understand their environment and to communicate their needs and emotions with words. Like anybody else, they may sometimes feel insecure, agitated or unhappy, which may result behavior caregivers describe as aggressive or anxious. Although each person may react differently in different situations, there are a couple of tips caregivers should have in mind when a difficult situation arises and the caretaker with dementia behaves in an aggressive or agitated way:

  • Remember that your feelings are contagious - the more calm and composed you are, the easier it will be for the person you care for to calm down.
  • Respect the private space of the person. If they become aggressive, do not come too close as this may intensify the negative reaction.
  • Divert the person’s attention to something else, so they can focus on another, more pleasurable activity.
  • If the aggression has reached its peak or is already ending, wait it out. Our feelings tend to fade away after some time.
  • Assess the causes and triggers of the difficult situation to prevent it from occurring in the future.
Read more about difficult situations in dementia in: McDonnel, A. (2010) Managing Aggressive Behaviour in Care Settings: Understanding and Applying Low Arousal Approaches, Wiley-Blackwell.
December 15, 2019

How to understand the unique needs of a person with dementia?

What is unique about the needs of a person with dementia? We all have our preferences, such as food we like, causes and values we care for, ways of making (or not making) our bed, our clothing style, etc. Having things our way contributes to our how we feel and who we are. The challenge that people with cognitive impairment face is that it is often hard for them to express what they want, which means that they must depend on their caregivers to support them in their habits, preferences and, in fact, identity.

What can a caregiver do?
  • Get to know what the caretaker used to do in their life. What was their job? Where do they come from? What is the highlight of their lives, a memory that makes them smile?
  • Learn what is important for them here and now. What’s their style? Do they like makeup and and feel better when they are well dressed? Is there an event in their daily or weekly schedule that is important to them? A cup of coffee in their favorite mug after breakfast, perhaps? A Sunday walk to the park?
  • Talk to the caretaker’s family or friend if it’s hard to have a conversation with the client.
  • Gather insights from other caregivers. Maybe they have learnt something about the client that you didn’t know of, but might use to make your caregiving more tailored to the person’s needs?
Read more about difficult situations in dementia in: McDonnel, A. (2010) Managing Aggressive Behaviour in Care Settings: Understanding and Applying Low Arousal Approaches, Wiley-Blackwell.

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