by Ryan Hough, Therapy Resource – What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a patient who has dementia? Many people tend to think of what dementia patients typically can’t do — such as remember names, get dressed, brush their teeth and so on. However, I had the opportunity recently to take the Dementia Capable Care Instructor Program with the desire to bring the training I received back to each of the homes in my region. This training is designed to help anyone who is involved in caring for our residents to develop a new mindset and ideas on how to work and interact with patients who have dementia. This awesome training helps you to understand where a patient is at cognitively so that you can then formulate a plan — whether you are a therapist, an activity director, a nurse, an executive director or a maintenance worker.
As a physical therapist, I think back to all the times when I was trying to walk a patient but not having success. Through this course, you will learn spatial, verbal and tactile cues to assist you. Most important, the training inspires you to learn all you can about your patient and his or her past. The more you know, the better equipped you are to help your patient be successful. As your patients experience success with activities such as walking, getting dressed, playing cards and even feeling overall happiness, you’ll discover that dementia patients have so much potential. We all strive every day to offer the best care to our residents, and this course offers tools that will help you to change these patients’ care experiences for the better.