More than 90% of the caregivers from at-home care company Home Instead has undergone specialist training to cope with the growing number of older people living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia in Harrogate, Ripon and Thirsk.
The training programme, accredited by City & Guilds, has been developed especially for Home Instead, whose caregivers provide at-home care for older people, enabling them to remain in their own homes for longer than would otherwise be possible. They are the only home care provider in the country to have received accreditation from City & Guilds for a dementia training programme.
The programme teaches innovative techniques for dealing with dementia, rather than focusing on the symptoms and treatments of the condition. Caregivers are trained in effective techniques for managing the many different and sometimes challenging behaviours associated with dementia including refusal, delusions, aggression, false accusations, wandering and agitation. A key outcome is that caregivers learn to respect the person as an individual and are able to observe, honour and support their lives.
Explaining some of the key fundamentals of the new training programme, Sheena Van Parys from Home Instead said, “Rather than trying to force those living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia to live in our world in the here and now, we need to meet them in the past and this programme helps our caregivers to do this. Dementia care often focuses on keeping the person with dementia from doing unwanted behaviours, thereby creating a behavioural void, but this programme focuses on supporting wanted behaviours.
“As specialists in at-home care for older people, a number of our clients are diagnosed with, or have symptoms of, Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, and it is important that we can do as much as possible to improve their quality of life. Because our caregivers can share their knowledge with family members the programme will help to give them confidence in dealing with behaviours that can be irrational or hard to understand and this sharing of knowledge will be invaluable in informing people about dementia across our local community.”