According to Catherine Harris, PhD, RNCS
The Alzheimer Association’s Alzheimer Care Enrichment philosophy states that people are unique and bring different life experiences, values, abilities, preferences, relationships, and needs to the caregiving situation.
In addition, Alzheimer’s is a multifaceted disease that manifests itself differently for each individual and for those who interact with them. Care for the person occurs within the context of their relationship with the caregiver, the relationship of the caregiver with the family, their relationship with other persons with dementia, and the relationship within and between families. These premises mandate individualized care.
The cornerstones of the Alzheimer Care Enrichment philosophy include:
- The care provided to persons with Alzheimer’s disease must be individualized, reflecting the person’s concerns, life history, meaning, relationships, emotions, thoughts, current needs, strengths, and preferences.
- Care of the person with AD must demonstrate compassion and concern for the individual.
- Care of the person with AD must be directed at enriching the life of the individual through meaningful activities and relationships.
- Promoting autonomy for the person with AD remains essential through all stages of the disease.
At Bluegrass Assistant Living, relationships are our goal.
Our Staff believes that all behavior has meaning and instructs caregivers of underlying experiences or needs that may not be easily expressed in words.
Truly individualized care requires a mindset shift from behavior control to one more attuned to allowing and supporting the person to be his or her unique self. Changes in functional ability are both part of the disease process and the result of excess disability, making it imperative that caregivers compassionately assess, adjust, and personalize individual caregiving routines.
Truly individual relationships and care are our goals. Meeting each resident in his/her changing reality is more effective than expecting him/her to enter our reality.