Thursday, 15 March 2012

Re-Defining Responsive Behaviours

Here at MAREP, our learnings surrounding dementia research and care continue to evolve. We recently posted a revised definition of Responsive Behaviours on our website.

This re-definition of Responsive Behaviours (RB) was created in response to the need for a clearer, more easily applied conceptualization of RB that encourages compassion and understanding in all care contexts.

Want to share this definition with others? Use this downloadable PDF version.

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Responsive Behaviour


Definition and Philosophy:

Responsive Behaviours (RB) is a term originating from, and preferred by, persons with dementia that represents how their actions, words and gestures are a response, often intentional, to something important to them. Persons may use words, gestures, or actions to express something important about their personal, social, or physical environment. Responsive Behaviours adhere to the following principles:

1. All personal expressions (words, gestures, actions) have meaning.

2. Personal expressions are an important means of communicating meanings, needs, concerns.

3. Care partners require a multidimensional lens that seeks understanding of others’ expressions.

A Responsive Behaviours Philosophy requires:
  • a focus on understanding the meaning of personal expressions (words, gestures, actions)
  • understanding the layered nature of personal expressions – including at the individual/personal level (subjective experience of the physical body, cognition, emotional experiences, spirituality, and cultural beliefs), the experience of the social environmental (the nature of caring and interpersonal relationships and broader cultural issues such as organisational policies and practices), and the experience of the broader physical environment (built environment, temperature, lighting)
  • developing skills in active listening, being truly present, and using alternative ways to communicate
  • being open, non-judgemental, and compassionate

Rather than the current focus on pathology/disease as the root cause of all actions, words or gestures, a multi-dimensional lens/approach assists partners in care in developing a broader and more comprehensive understanding of the person with dementia and his/her subjective experiences, the meanings of personal expressions (i.e., what the personal expressions are communicating), and how best to offer compassionate support (caring styles and approaches).

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Long Term Care Task Force

I recently learned about the Long Term Care Task Force from a tweet by @AlzheimerPeel

According to the site:

The Task Force was established in response to media reports of incidents of abuse and neglect in long-term care homes and underreporting of these incidents. It is independent of government and has broad representation from across the sector, including family and resident councils, nurses, physicians, unions, personal support workers, long-term care provider associations and advocates.

Share your story about your experiences in long term care. Your thoughts and feedback can make a difference for yourself and others!

Monday, 12 March 2012

12 Apps for Caregivers

Are you, like many of us, never far from your smart phone?

This article outlines how you can use technology to your advantage by connecting to one of 12 handy apps for caregivers.

Here are three of my favourites:

Elder 411 (Free): Elder 411 is a widely-applicable app containing general caregiving information and tips on things like communication, financial matters, and safety.

Pocket First Aid & CPR ($3.99): this app can help you care for a senior who is having a cardiac episode, begins to choke, or needs basic first aid. There is also a section where you can create medical profiles of elderly loved one.
Stress Stopper Pro ($.99): What would this list be without a stress-relief app? Includes strategies and breathing exercises to help you reduce stress (both chronic and random).

Would you use an app to help with any aspect of your caregiving?

Which apps are your favourite?

    Friday, 9 March 2012

    Have a Nice Weekend!

    I woke up to a winter wonderland! Brrr, hopefully the Sunday sun melts the snow away.

    In the meantime, here are a few interesting reads from around the web:

    Via Way Wild Pets
    Channel the therapeutic powers of your four-legged friends for use in elder care settings.

    A recent letter to the editor about treating older adults with respect.

    Understanding your risk for for dementia.

    Some helpful strategies to communicate more effectively with a person who has dementia.

    The Alzheimer's Disease International 2012 Conference is taking place this week. MAREP Director, Sherry Dupuis, and our Associate Director of Research, Lisa Loiselle, are presenting. Take a look at the book of abstracts to see if any sessions interest you, or follow the #ADI2012 hastag on Twitter for live tweets from the event.

    Wishing you all a happy, safe weekend from the team at MAREP.

    Thursday, 8 March 2012

    Introducing: Amanda Waring

    Dr. Sherry Dupuis (Director of MAREP) and Lisa Loiselle (Associate Director of Research) traveled to London, England this week to present at the 2012 Alzheimer's Disease International Conference.

    In her travels, Lisa had the opportunity to meet and chat with Amanda Waring. Amanda is an actress, filmmaker, and speaker from the U.K.

    An important aspect of Amanda's work is giving inspirational keynotes about person-centered care. Using her award-winning film, What Do You See?, Amanda explores themes of diginity, respect, and compassion in care.

    Lisa Loiselle (left) pictured here with Amanda Waring

    View a clip from What Do You See? below:

    Thank you, Amanda, for sharing your inspiring work with us!
    We look forward to sharing more learnings from London as the ADI Conference unfolds.
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