Although our loved ones with dementia are not able to recall, interpret or express ideas regarding their experiences, they are still fully having experiences.
Dementia training in the DAWN Method
Understanding the emotional needs caused by dementia is at the core of DAWN dementia training. When people are supported emotionally, they are more at ease and there is less conflict between those experiencing dementia and their caregivers.
DAWN dementia care training is designed to give you an understanding of how to provide strength-based Alzheimer’s / dementia care. When everyone uses the same techniques, and gains an understanding of the skills kept despite dementia, wellbeing is enhanced for those experiencing dementia and for everyone else as well.
Emotional needs caused by Alzheimer’s disease / dementia
Why is she hiding things from me? Why won’t he cooperate?
Dementia causes fear, embarrassment and frustration. Imagine walking to the parking lot and not remembering which car you drove … imagine meeting someone on the street who seems to know you but you have no idea who they are. Wouldn’t you begin to withdraw? Wouldn’t you be afraid?
If we understand the emotions caused by dementia, and the skills that are not lost, we will be able to provide more empathetic and effective support.
DAWN dementia care courses are divided into eight lessons, each including a number of topics, which will introduce you to strength-based dementia care. Each topic covers one concept or technique, in simple terms with real life examples, drawn from Judy Cornish’s experience with her clients at DAWN. The lessons are cumulative, building on one another.
DAWN Lesson Themes
- Understanding dementia and strength-based care
- Mood management
- Security in confusion
- Security in care
- Social success
- Sense of control
- Sense of value
- Secure future
Dementia training begins with understanding the skills not lost
It’s helpful to look at dementia from the perspective of the changes in a person’s functioning, rather than as a disease and symptoms. When we do this, their behaviors make sense and are manageable instead of unexpected.
Learn how to:
- Spot the warning signs of dementia
- Understand why the new person-centered care is so effective
- Manage interactions so that your loved one can stay relaxed and enjoy the present
- Capitalize on the thinking skills your loved one will not lose
- Maximize your loved one’s level of functioning
Dementia becomes so much easier to understand and live with when we stop trying to make sense of it from a medical perspective, and instead approach it as a condition that changes functioning—seeing not just what our loved ones become unable to do, but also the very valuable skills they retain.
Judy explains how not all our cognitive skills are lost to dementia. She details the rational thinking skills we lose and the intuitive thinking skills we retain; she explores how losing memory takes away the ability to visit the past but enhances our experience of the present; and describes how we lose the ability to direct and manage our attention, while other valuable skills are heightened.
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