Dementia Training By Kathryn Penrith And Rachel Yates

"There is one fundamental issue to bear in mind when caring for a person with dementia: dementia is a disease. This may seem obvious, but it’s often overlooked. If you see past the disease and don’t let it blind you to the person living with it, the care you deliver will naturally improve.

"If you treat someone with a broken leg, you don’t look at the plaster and immediately discount the opinions of that person on the basis that a part of them is broken. You’ll ask questions and assess their needs so you can make them more comfortable. Are they able to walk with crutches, or do they need a chair? Do they need to temporarily adapt their diet because of the lack of mobility? Are they short-tempered because they find it uncomfortable to use the toilet unaided?

"With dementia, the symptoms you see are caused by the damage that’s occurring in the brain. Each person with dementia has different damage, wants, needs and abilities. As a carer, what you are confronted with are the symptoms of that damage. You can offer the person with a broken leg a crutch. When caring for a person with dementia, you are that crutch."

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