Speakers outline breakthrough ways of dealing with dementia

Dementia is more common in those over 65 but it can affect younger people

  • Nov. 24, 2016 10:00 a.m.

BY MARK WEBER

Lacombe Express

There are new forms of assisting those with dementia that are showing promising results, attendees of the fourth annual Early Onset Dementia Alberta (EODA) conference heard this past weekend in Red Deer.

Highlights includes talks from keynote speaker Peter Priednieks of Dementia Care Matters, which is based in England.

Last Friday, he spoke about the ‘Butterfly approach’ which is described as a holistic, person-centred approach to enhancing the culture of care by improving the ‘lived experience’ of the person with dementia.

Lived experience, in turn, has been defined as the minute-by-minute experience of the person with dementia in the reality they presently live in.

Officials with Dementia Care Matters have developed a network of more than 100 Butterfly Care Home projects in the U.K., Ireland, Canada, United States and Australia.

“That’s really what we are trying to do on a larger scale to incorporate the essence of being human,” he said of the Butterfly Care Home projects, where the setting is home-like rather than institutional.

Staff also don’t wear conventional uniforms, but dress casually and interact with residents ‘where they are’. That is, they don’t correct them when they, for example, think they are living decades in the past or are asking for the whereabouts of a deceased relative, for example. They simply ‘enter into’ that person’s world, and carry on conversations or interactions that fit with the residents’ perception of reality.

“We’ve given this a lot of thought and within the context of a care home, this is what I’d like to show you is our view of a care home capturing that feeling of ‘home’. That includes no barriers no ‘us’ and ‘them’. Uniforms have got to go. We cannot create the feeling of home if you are wearing a uniform,” he explained.

It’s also about offering residents a busy, active environment to be a part of.

Strict timelines are also not included with the Butterfly approach. “You can have breakfast whenever you want to have breakfast. In a Butterfly home, sometimes at lunch time there are people sat alongside those having their lunch who are still having their breakfast.”

Priednieks also talked about, as mentioned, constant engagement with residents. “Come look at the sunset out the window, come see this bird on the fence over there.”

He also pointed out that some have said they had been in a Butterfly home, and they couldn’t tell who were the staff and who were the residents. Priednieks said that’s pretty much the point.

He mentioned that the team at Dementia Care Matters have conducted more than 700 qualitative observations across the U.K., Ireland, Canada and Australia into long-term care.

They were looking for, among other things, positive social interaction. Sadly, they found that often interaction doesn’t go beyond the duties of care. This is essentially called neutral care the basics are provided, but little else.

Then there is ‘controlling care’ where say a person asks for a piece of toast, for example.

They are politely told the kitchen is shut down for the night and they’ll just have to do without. “It can be said in a soft soothing tone, but it’s saying, ‘Yes, this is your own home but I’ll decide whether you can have a piece of toast.” Sometimes, staff also tend to talk about clients or over them as though they aren’t even there.

Meanwhile, dementia is more common in people over the age of 65 but it can also affect younger people.

Early onset of the disease can begin as young as the 30s, 40s or 50s. To that end, EODA provides a voice for those families affected by dementia, organizers say.

EODA is therefore committed to building dementia awareness and advocating for persons with dementia, care partners and families.

The diagnosis can be devastating, as often they lose jobs, their driver’s license and their independence, notes the web site.

Currently, the four areas of concern EODA is focused on include home care, the lack of services/programming, long-term care (the majority of long-term care facilities are not in the position to deal with younger people who have dementia and are still physically very active) and diagnoses and medical support.

Check out www.EODAF.ca.

mark.weber@reddeerexpress.com

 

Just Posted

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer drops to 71 active cases of COVID-19

Province adds 127 new cases of the virus

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

The Sylvan Lake Gulls show off the home jerseys (white) and their way jerseys at the Gulls Media Day on June 17, before the season opener. Following the media day, the team took to the field for their first practise. (Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News)
Sylvan Lake Gulls ready to throw first pitch as construction continues

The Gulls inaugural season kicks off June 18 with a game against the Edmonton Prospects

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Orange shirts, shoes, flowers and messages are displayed on the steps outside the legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 following a ceremony hosted by the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations in honour of the 215 residential school children whose remains have been discovered buried near the facility in Kamloops, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Alberta city cancels Canada Day fireworks at site of former residential school

City of St. Albert says that the are where the display was planned, is the site of the former Youville Residential School

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Most Read