Positive Dementia Care -social model

Creativity In Care’s Positive Dementia Care is for people interested in an holistic, person-focused, creative and social model approach to working with people living with a diagnosis of a dementia (or other long-term condition that appears to affect communication, cognition and/or memory).

The work is focused on connections that support and respect individuality and increase a sense of possibility and awareness. Relationships are built through creative processes that enhance wellbeing.

Knowledge of different ways in which individuals may experience the world is important to be able to meet people where they are. This knowledge helps us ensure we connect in ways that make sense or are relevant to the person. However, underlying the programme is a set of principles that promote deeper reflective practice and self-awareness. This is to ensure the very best outcomes for people diagnosed with dementia.

Creativity In Care’s Positive Dementia Care programme provides an opportunity to explore the impact our own attitudes, beliefs, expectations and values (as staff, carers, managers, therapists etc.) on people experiencing some sense of isolation, vulnerability or stress. Such awareness is also used to support families living with the diagnosis of dementia. This ‘inner-work’ for greater self-awareness helps build more trusting and genuine relationships. It is at the heart of the programme. Understanding ways to validate people through deep listening, or silent beingness or empathic responses is the ‘stuff’ that transforms people’s lives when living with a diagnosis of dementia.

The hands-on fun and creative part of the programme demonstrates equalities-based interactions as a means to support relationship building. Understanding why creativity is important for neural connections inspires us to become more creative in our approaches. There are endless ways to engage creatively and we show some of the approaches used by Creativity In Care who work with people through to end of life care. The activities have been researched over several years to understand ways in which they can support an individual by:

  • Using procedural memory
  • Support identity,
  • Provide opportunities for self-expression and communication
  • Raise awareness regards inclusion, equalities, abilities
  • Celebrate individual strengths and qualities
  • Increase other people’s respect for individuals,
  • Increase a sense of joyfulness or well-being

Creative approaches for health and wellbeing have been promoted for many hundreds of years. However, it has taken the government and various other influential bodies a very long time to promote this non-pharmacological intervention. There is still a great deal of skepticism because of the perceived lack of robust evidence. However, whilst over 99% of drug’s trials for new Alzheimer drugs in the past 15 years have failed (David Reynolds, Alzheimer Research 2016), there is growing recognition of the need for other interventions and preventions. The majority of dementia-focused conferences do now include ‘creative approaches to dementia-care’.

We are developing a new on-line membership forum. Here we can discuss some of the more complex, personal, ethical or situational circumstances people may experience. Each month explores a different topic, with practical ideas and resolution-focused thinking, as well as opportunity to celebrate shared good practice. If this is something you are interested in joining as an individual, please contact with your details.

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