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 serious residing service supplier has created a dementia coaching program in digital actuality that it hopes will lengthen throughout the continuum of care and change into a mannequin for the business.

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

Dementia Actuality consists of 5 interactive digital actuality coaching applications that study the who, what and the way of caring for somebody with dementia, based on CJE’s Director of Engagement and Modern Programming, Catherine Samatas. Every unit addresses a unique side of caregiving, utilizing an intentional person-centered method to care supply that’s function particular.

Samatas stated Senior life at McKnight The primary two items facilitate morning care actions, whereas the remaining items deal with communication, habits in consuming locations and actions, in addition to de-escalation behaviors.

Every module presents two views – the proper means and the fallacious strategy to administer assist. This system additionally permits caregivers to expertise day by day actions from the resident’s perspective.

“It is essential that you just’re not simply watching them do their job, however you are watching the particular person with dementia’s response when it is completed in a method versus one other,” Samatas stated. “You possibly can safely see how poor care results in poor outcomes.”

She added that the coaching stems from the framework of persona.

“Character integration is not only an possibility, however a necessity for constructing the caregiver relationship that makes the distinction between excellent care and honest care,” Samatas stated. “That is an try to focus deeply on understanding what it means to be that particular person and learn how to work with that particular person in gentle 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 stated the thought for a dementia actuality got here to her a number of years in the past when she launched “On the spot Israel” — a digital actuality journey to Israel — to residents with dementia at CJE’s Lieberman Well being and Rehabilitation Heart, which gives dementia care. She advised the story of an unimmersed resident who instantly turned excited and excited to see acquainted environment.

“At that second, I noticed this was a educating device,” she stated.

After searching 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 elements 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 knowledgeable launch in June at Tamarisk NorthShore, a CJE-managed neighborhood in Deerfield. CJE Vice President of Advertising and marketing and Gross sales Beasley Valentinczyk stated: Senior life at McKnight That the group talks to different suppliers and builds relationships to maneuver this system past the partitions of CJE.

Educating empathy

Samatas stated 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 stated. “It honors the grownup studying perspective for being related and relevant.

“Digital actuality creates a reminiscence for them of how they really feel. It stays with them for for much longer than any video you watch or dialog you may have.”

The fact of dementia is introduced within the type of coach coaching to make the best potential affect. Samatas stated CJE has accomplished its pilot variations of the coaching and might be coaching employees on the Weinberg Group for Senior Dwelling, in Deerfield, IL, with campus help.

Whereas Samatas stated CJE continues to be growing the fee-based coaching program, it hopes to ultimately prepare “tons of of hundreds” of caregivers in “as many settings as potential,” together with residential properties, house well being care companies, 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 stated.

Caregivers excited by studying extra concerning the actuality of dementia can contact Valentincic.

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