25 years ago Dr Tom Kitwood introduced the concept of person-centred care
He found that dementia doesn’t progress in a linear fashion, and it varies from person to person.
One of the most important factors in this is the quality of care and relationships. There is a need for high-quality interpersonal care that affirms personhood; one that implies recognition, respect, and trust.
What do persons with dementia need? The answer begins with love at the centre surrounded by five offshoots:
- Individuals need comfort or warmth to “remain in one piece” when they may feel as though they are falling apart.
- they need to feel attachment when they so often feel as thoMOreugh they are in a strange place.
- they need to be included and involved both in care and in life.
- They need to be occupied and involved in past and current interests and sources of fulfilment and satisfaction.
- Finally, people with dementia need to have an identity and their caregivers must help maintain this identity (Kitwood, 1997*).
All this means that our RELATIONSHIP IS VITAL
More about this in Living with Alzheimer's – a love story
Published in January 2020 by Instant Apostle; ISBN 9781912726196. Available here to order online.
Or you can request it from your local bookshop.
* Kitwood, T. (1997). Dementia reconsidered: The person comes first. Berkshire, UK: Open University Press
Summarised in The Gerontologist, Volume 58, Issue suppl_1, February 2018, Pages S10–S19, https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/gnx122