The reality of dementia offers an empathic component to training dementia caregivers

Middle section of an elderly woman holding a nurse's hand.  The caregiver supports the elderly.  They are at home during the coronavirus lockdown.
(Picture supply: Morsa Photographs/Getty Photographs)

A significant residing service supplier has created a dementia coaching program in digital actuality that it hopes will lengthen throughout the continuum of care and turn into a mannequin for the business.

Chicago-based CJE SeniorLife and Elderwerks Instructional Companies have partnered with Toronto-based digital actuality firm VR Imaginative and prescient to launch Dementia Actuality, a brand new instructional instrument for professionals caring for seniors with dementia.

Dementia Actuality consists of 5 interactive digital actuality coaching packages that be taught the who, what and the way of caring for somebody with dementia, in line with CJE’s Director of Engagement and Revolutionary Programming, Catherine Samatas. Every unit addresses a special facet of caregiving, utilizing an intentional person-centered method to care supply that’s position particular.

Samatas mentioned Senior life at McKnight The primary two items facilitate morning care actions, whereas the remaining items handle communication, conduct in consuming locations and actions, in addition to de-escalation behaviors.

Every module presents two views – the fitting approach and the incorrect method to administer assist. This system additionally permits caregivers to expertise every day actions from the resident’s perspective.

“It is necessary that you simply’re not simply watching them do their job, however you are watching the particular person with dementia’s response when it is achieved in a technique versus one other,” Samatas mentioned. “You’ll be able to safely see how poor care results in poor outcomes.”

She added that the coaching stems from the framework of persona.

“Character integration is not only an choice, however a necessity for constructing the caregiver relationship that makes the distinction between excellent care and truthful care,” Samatas mentioned. “That is an try to focus deeply on understanding what it means to be that particular person and easy methods to work with that particular person in gentle of their understanding of them.”


Woman sitting on a chair wearing dementia reality glasses
An worker at CJE SeniorLife undergoes dementia actuality coaching. (Photograph courtesy of CJE SeniorLife)

Samatas mentioned the concept for a dementia actuality got here to her a number of years in the past when she launched “Instantaneous Israel” — a digital actuality journey to Israel — to residents with dementia at CJE’s Lieberman Well being and Rehabilitation Heart, which offers dementia care. She advised the story of an unimmersed resident who all of the sudden turned excited and excited to see acquainted environment.

“At that second, I spotted this was a educating instrument,” she mentioned.

After in search of companions, CJE developed a relationship with Elderworks in 2020 to develop coaching and curriculum, then labored with VR Imaginative and prescient, a digital actuality firm to place the elements collectively. A grant from the Chicago-based Foglia Household Basis helped develop this system.

CJE did a minor program launch within the spring in LeadingAge Illinois, adopted by an expert launch in June at Tamarisk NorthShore, a CJE-managed neighborhood in Deerfield. CJE Vice President of Advertising and marketing and Gross sales Beasley Valentinczyk mentioned: Senior life at McKnight That the group talks to different suppliers and builds relationships to maneuver this system past the partitions of CJE.

Educating empathy

Samatas mentioned that whereas there have been different VR experiences, that is the primary expertise directed at coaching and studying from an empathic perspective.

“On the finish of the day, what we hope to get is an emotional response,” she mentioned. “It honors the grownup studying perspective for being related and relevant.

“Digital actuality creates a reminiscence for them of what it seems like. It stays with them for for much longer than any video you watch or dialog you will have.”

The fact of dementia is introduced within the type of coach coaching to make the best doable influence. Samatas mentioned CJE has accomplished its pilot variations of the coaching and will probably be coaching employees on the Weinberg Neighborhood for Senior Residing, in Deerfield, IL, with campus help.

Whereas Samatas mentioned CJE continues to be creating the fee-based coaching program, it hopes to ultimately prepare “lots of of hundreds” of caregivers in “as many settings as doable,” together with residential houses, dwelling well being care companies, licensed nursing assistant faculties and communities the opposite.

“It is a great alternative for an emotional expertise that may actually change the expertise not only for the caregivers, however for the individuals who look after them,” Samatas mentioned.

Caregivers keen on studying extra concerning the actuality of dementia can contact Valentincic.