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?
The Minnity app helps you in gathering the important details about the people you care for in one place and exchange knowledge with the family and other caregivers, so that you can more easily develop a relationship that improves the quality of care.