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 Pictures/Getty Pictures)

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

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

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

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

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

“It is vital that you simply’re not simply watching them do their job, however you are watching the individual with dementia’s response when it is executed 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 isn’t just an choice, however a necessity for constructing the caregiver relationship that makes the distinction between excellent care and honest care,” Samatas mentioned. “That is an try and focus deeply on understanding what it means to be that individual and the way to work with that individual in mild 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 “Immediate Israel” — a digital actuality journey to Israel — to residents with dementia at CJE’s Lieberman Well being and Rehabilitation Middle, which gives dementia care. She instructed the story of an unimmersed resident who abruptly turned excited and excited to see acquainted environment.

“At that second, I noticed this was a instructing device,” she mentioned.

After looking for 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 components 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.

Instructing 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 looks like. It stays with them for for much longer than any video you watch or dialog you’ve.”

The truth of dementia is introduced within the type of coach coaching to make the best attainable impression. Samatas mentioned CJE has accomplished its pilot variations of the coaching and can be coaching workers on the Weinberg Neighborhood for Senior Dwelling, in Deerfield, IL, with campus help.

Whereas Samatas mentioned CJE remains to be creating the fee-based coaching program, it hopes to finally practice “tons of of hundreds” of caregivers in “as many settings as attainable,” together with residential houses, dwelling well being care businesses, licensed nursing assistant faculties and communities the opposite.

“It is a fantastic alternative for an emotional expertise that may actually change the expertise not only for the caregivers, however for the individuals who take care of them,” Samatas mentioned.

Caregivers enthusiastic about studying extra in regards to the actuality of dementia can contact Valentincic.