In all the dementia training I deliver, there is a strong focus on the 'person centred approach'. Although we also explore general issues of dementia (eg. common symptoms), it is really important to remember that people will be affected differently because everyone is a unique individual.
The training I deliver is designed to equip learners to put the person centred approach into practice. This involves getting to know the person, being interested in them, their background, their likes and dislikes - and always wanting to know more.
In the group, we share ideas and personal experience. We pay particular attention to the importance of good communication, including communication which may be 'non-verbal'. We also consider that communication is a 'two-way street'. If a person is confused, we need to think about how we are communicating with them - including our own behaviour, body language, attitude and other non-verbal messages.
Treating people with respect and dignity is fundamental to a person centred approach. We want to give the person with dementia as much support as they need at any particular time, but never in a way that is patronising or disempowering. The needs of a person with dementia may change over time, and also fluctuate from day to day, or sometimes from hour to hour. We must recognise that what is helpful to one person may not necessarily be helpful to someone else - or may not even be helpful to the same person on another occasion.
We also consider the needs of relatives and family carers and the importance of working in partnership, giving and receiving support.
I strongly believe that a 'person centred approach' should apply to everyone - including learners who attend my courses!
My aim is to provide training that is informative, relevant, useful, interesting..... and fun.
Based on the positive feedback I receive, it is my hope and expectation that learners who attend my courses will feel more confident and better equipped to give appropriate support to those with whom they work - including colleagues, family carers and of course people with dementia.
Working together, we really can make a difference!