This is the third and final of three newsletters presenting methods of working with dementia residents in a potentially more productive manner. 

We have previously listed 9 methods of working with a dementia patient in a more productive manner. 1) Be at eye level 2) Keep smiling 3) Try to come alone 4) Environment should be quiet 5) Be respectful in your words 6) Distractions may help 7) Avoid complex direction or instructions 8) Sometimes a change in staff may help and 9) Use your hands or fingers to communicate.

Here are the remaining 6 methods that we hope will help.

  1. You can try a gentle touch on their hands and if this seems to sooth them, gentle touches can be applied to the elbow, shoulder or upper back.
  2. Try to alert them by words or gestures what you want to do before you start on the task.
  3. If trying to perform dental care, put the toothbrush, etc. on a sink in front of them and this may invoke memories that help them understand what you want to do.
  4. Have them look in a mirror with the caregiver standing behind them and have them perform the brushing task with support. It may be less threatening if they brush their own teeth.
  5. To the extent reasonable, have them perform as much of the task rather than trying to force the service upon him or her. If they feel they are in control, it can help reduce the fear.
  6. We all love congratulations for a job well done and the participant or resident may respond favorably when you give him or her verbal praise and encouragement for doing the task.

For each of you, we extend a warm “Way to go” for all you do for your participants and residents!!!!

All of the Comprehensive Mobile Care associated Providers and their support staff understand these 15 methods and use them for better interaction with those with dementia.

Brookdale Leadership in Aging Foundation, Rita A Jablonski PHD, CRNP et al