Person Centered Plan of Care When Working with Dementia Clients

A person living with dementia or Alzheimer’s doesn't have to give up the activities that they once loved. Many activities can be modified and/or adapted to the person's centered plan of care that Right at Home strives to achieve. With a focus on activities it often times enhances quality of life and also can reduce behaviors like anxiety, depression, wandering or agitation.

It is important to learn what the clients past and present interests are and also gage what their current abilities are to learn how to adapt and modify activities that they enjoy. Right at Home ensures that we are providing the proper training and education to our caregivers to ensure the right approach is achieved towards the person’s centered plan of care.

Here at Right at Home we like to use “The Best Friend Approach to Dementia Care,” that was developed by Virginia Bell and David Trozel. “The Best Friend Approach” suggests and believes that what a person with dementia needs most of all is a friend, a “Best Friend.” Right at Home is there to provide that “Best Friend.”

Here is a feel good story from one of our caregivers, Donna, who fits this role as the “Best Friend” for her client dealing with dementia while striving for the person centered plan of care.

A great way to know and understand Eunice is by looking through old photo albums together, which is always fascinating to hear the stories she shares. Eunice would talk about each picture with such love and pride. This was a good activity to stimulate her and would put her in a cheerful mood. However, I noticed the more recent photos she did not recognize who the people were, therefore, would reminisce through old pictures.

We would try 100 piece puzzles and she would say with a big smile, “I like doing these as long as the pictures are cute!" We also played a Memory game using only 6 pairs, to keep it simple; this was challenging though also stimulating enough for her. We played Words within words; where I would write down words such as celebration and see how many words she could make from it. Another game that we enjoyed was Rhyme It where I would say a word and she would say a word that rhymes with my word and vice versa.

We also went for walks outside to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine and sit out on the back porch while playing Rhyme It. We would go for drives and out to lunch at different restaurants. She enjoyed going out to eat tremendously though she needed a lot of help with menus due to too many choices, but I was there to help her through it and simplify for her.

I took her to the zoo where she was thrilled to feed the giraffe eucalyptus branches. She laughed at the monkey's playing and received much joy in watching the little children feed the animals in the children's area. These were activities we enjoyed doing together not only was it providing stimulation, but we formed a trust and bond with each other that was nothing but positive.

P. Hietpas
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