Caring for people with dementia is a hugely complex and demanding activity that needs a special mix of compassion, kindness and motivation to improve the lives of other people. Caregivers of people with dementia require a whole host of knowledge and skills that matches the complex range of social, cognitive, behavioural and emotional needs of the people they care for.
The Dementia Gold programme has been developed to equip anyone working in an environment that provides care and services for people with dementia to interact with and treat them, as they would wish to be treated themselves. It takes a ‘whole home approach’ whereby everyone who works in the home or dementia care service is part of the team and their role is supporting people to live well with dementia.
At the heart of Dementia Gold is one simple principle:
That you should treat other people as you would like to be treated yourself
(The Golden Rule)
To do this requires excellent communication skills and understanding of the needs of people with dementia. This can be very difficult when the illness interferes with the ability to communicate, particularly if it affects speech. But people with dementia never lose the urge to communicate and be part of the social world.
Therefore, the people who care for them must use their full range of communication skills, including nonverbal ones, to nurture people with dementia and keep treating them as fellow human beings.