Identity is the Well-being foundation for great care! Working with Dr. Allen Power these last few years has helped me appreciate what person-centered care really means; it isn’t just bossing people around nicely. Dr. Power has authored two books: Dementia Beyond Disease and Dementia Beyond Drugs ; every care partner needs these on their must read list.
COVID-19 brings with it plenty of obstacles, but we must find ways to hurdle them, especially when the elders we care for have dementia. Let’s take this time to see if, bit by bit, we can find the time and collect the distinct descriptions of their exceptional Life Story™! Great progress can be made just by spending 15 minutes with a person and going through 1-2 questions. If you already have some sort of personal history, you can take off from there!
I checked in with Beth Sanders, Founder and CEO of Life Bio. Beth shared with me that she had been asked by family members and others about having meaningful conversations with elders. Here is her recent blog on the topic: Meaningful Conversation
Be sure to check out Life Bio I highly recommend! You can’t properly care for an elder if you don’t truly know them. The best disclosure comes when you share with them too! Here’s a simple exercise:
Let’s get an idea of who shaped them:
- What is your mother’s name? Her birthday (go as detailed as they are able: month, mo/day, mo/day/yr)? How would you describe your mother? What was one of your favorite memories of your mother?
- Do the same with father, siblings, grandparents.
- Discuss their birthday. You can bring ideas from the internet This Day In History to discuss their day in history based on their birthday. For example:
- 1989: Exxon Valdez crashes causing on of the worst oil spills in history
- 1958: Elvis Presley joined the Army
- 1776: Quartering Act required US citizens to house British soldiers
Care becomes extraordinary through our appreciation of those entrusted to our care.