Dementia Care Programming: A Person-Centered Approach

Dementia Care Programming Person Centered Approach
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” — Leo Buscaglia

Our Dementia Care Program was established to improve the quality of life of each person living with dementia entrusted to our care at Oceanview Healthcare & Rehabilitation. Our goal is to steadily increase the well-being of those we affect directly, while becoming an influential model within the community for a widespread shift in how we view dementia as a culture. Program objectives include the following:

  • Preserve autonomy
  • Ensure safety
  • Promote dignity
  • Maintain ability
  • Facilitate active participation
  • Encourage resident friendships

Programming Process

To meet the above objectives, we have a multi-step process designed to uncover each resident’s unique background, needs, wants and abilities. Our process includes:

  1. Interviews to discover each person’s life story, unique experiences, hobbies and interests.
  2. An assessment of physical and cognitive abilities as well as personal needs and desires.
  3. Development of person-centered programs that preserve each resident’s abilities and enhance their quality of life.
  4. Education and training for caregivers to ensure competency when implementing each program.
  5. Completion of quarterly or biannual screens to re-assess abilities. If necessary, programs are revised and staff is retrained accordingly.

Research-Inspired Environmental Modifications

At Oceanview, the above process enables evidence-based integration of our dementia patients into environments alongside like-ability peers. We call these environments “neighborhoods.”

These neighborhoods enable us to customize care. Whether it be through activity planning or caregiver training, we emphasize preservation of ability, dignity and independence. By improving caregiver education, we are able to better prevent communal conflict, implement beneficial activities, encourage meaningful relationships and strategically modify environments.

Caregiver training, specific to each neighborhood, includes the following:

  • Communication strategies
  • Cuing techniques
  • Behavioral strategies
  • Estimated assistance necessary

At Oceanview, we pride ourselves on an “outside of the box” philosophy that enables us to maintain a person-centered approach while enhancing the well-being of all. Beyond this, we aspire to be a catalyst for cultural change by encouraging others to abandon the negative stigmas attached to dementia and emphasize the value and uniqueness of each distinctive life.

Submitted by Oceanview Healthcare & Rehabilitation, Texas City, TX