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Care provider pioneers dementia techniques in town

Created on 27/04/2017 @ 16:35
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Experts at a Newtown-based care provider are pioneering a variety of different techniques to use when caring for people with dementia in the area.
Abacare says it is important to use different techniques for people with the condition and the company has rolled these out as part of its carers training.
Ffion Evans, Registered Manager at Abacare, said: “We have worked with people with dementia for many years and through this we have developed a variety of different techniques which can be used when caring for someone with the condition.
“We have found the techniques to be extremely helpful and as a company we now instil these techniques within our carers training programmes to make sure our service users with dementia are properly cared for.
“It is important to use different techniques with different people. And the following are just some of the ones we use regularly:
Life story books and boxes – a booklet that is added to frequently, detailing a person’s past life, their culture, their family, work, hobbies and fun times.
Reality orientation – reminders about where they are, the time, the day, where we are, what we are doing, when we are eating.
Music – a service user we support loves to sing and enjoys musicals. We encourage this and take her to church choir music sessions, watch DVDs of old musicals that she chooses, and have the radio on if she wishes. If a person is mobile, it can be fun to dance too.
Validation – we do have times when a service user asks for their partner or other, we do not tell them that they have died as this would gain nothing other than upsetting them again and again. We simply divert by asking them questions about their partner or mother and try to focus on the good memories that they have. Sharing good times and memories is very rewarding for both the service user and the carer.”
Dementia affects a person’s ability to communicate, so they may need to develop alternative ways of expressing their feelings.
Non-verbal communication, including body language and the tone of voice of carers, will become increasingly important.
Ffion added: “A person with dementia may have a different sense of reality. By understanding this we can begin to be aware of what they might be feeling and be able to interpret their behaviour.
“We also recommend our carers simplify sentences and instructions so that they are not asking too much in one statement. Enable service users to have as much control over their life as possible and help the person by using visual or pictorial cues and planners to structure their day.
“A ‘life story book’ or ‘memory box’ of photos and mementos from the person’s past is also a useful way to help the person interact and reminisce.
“Relaxation techniques such as massage, aromatherapy and familiar music can be effective and enjoyable. Someone with dementia may be able to sing or hum a favourite tune even after they have lost the ability to speak.”

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