At Luxurycare, our homes, Aranlaw House and Seabourne House have introduced the Dr Gemma Jones ‘behavioural staging’ model for meeting the needs of older people with dementia and this is possibly quite different to the methods used in many care homes.
Based on the simple assumption that every behaviour has meaning we try to understand what someone maybe trying to tell us through their behaviour. This assumption is consistent through our lives from child hood, through the terrible teens into adult hood. A baby crying or a teenager acting are significant behaviours that all have meaning.
We use the ‘Validation’ method, a practical approach based on knowledge about and empathy for the progressively isolating experience of people with dementia. This emphasises communication techniques based upon whichever stage the person with dementia has reached.
Our belief is that older people with dementia need to feel secure and comfortable if they are to get the most out of their lives and this is central to the way that we care for the people who use our service. We work closely with residents, their families and friends and the various professional’s who may also be involved in supporting them, to gather as much information as we can about the person’s personality their likes, dislikes, life history, experiences and influences as we believe that this information will help us to better understand the person’s behaviour and build relationships with them.
For many people who have dementia their behaviour is influenced strongly by fear that is created by them having a deep sense that something is not right with their thinking and memory. It is this fear that often creates behaviour that can be hard to understand in a person who has dementia. As the person has reduced logical thinking ability and their ability to memorise and verbalise feelings and thoughts is often affected, attempts to try and explain how they feel are impossible. At Aranlaw House our staff are trained to recognise and allay fear in the residents we care for so that their personality is more readily visible and we can identify those abilities that have been least affected by the person’s dementia and work to maintain these, whilst supporting the person in the areas that are the weakest.