Alzheimer’s & Dementia For Unregulated Staff (CCAs, PSWs, & HSWs) The Nova Scotia Health Authority in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society of Nova Scotia provides a two day workshop exploring two complementary approaches to working with clients with Alzheimer’s and other Dementias. U-First! Is a training program that helps frontline staff to develop a common knowledge base, language, values and approach to caring for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias by: • Understanding the person living with dementia and associated behaviour changes and • Working as a team to develop individualized support strategies that include: • Understand that there can be many reasons why you might see behaviour changes when a person is living with dementia • Flag the possible changes that you may see when you are supporting a person is living with dementia • Interact in a new way with both skill and a common understanding of dementia • Reflect and report on not only new behaviours you may see in the person you are supporting but also share your strategies, your tips on working with a person who is living with dementia • Support the person with dementia, their family and friends in everyday activities • Know that you are part of an important Team in caring for the person with dementia Gentle Persuasive Approach (GPA) The GPA material focuses on four key areas: personhood, brain and behaviour, the interpersonal environment, and gentle persuasive techniques. A variety of educational tools are used such as videos, white board animations, interactive exercises, and sharing personal experiences in working with individuals with dementia. Important teachings in this curriculum are: • Individuals with dementia are people first and foremost, with a unique history and a capacity for interpersonal relationships. • All behaviour has meaning, and to understand the behaviour we must know the person behind the illness. • The onus is on caregivers to try and understand patterns and triggers, and respond respectfully and confidently to the individual with dementia. • Reframe behaviour as a response attempt to protect/defend yourself. • Despite our best efforts, sometimes protective behaviours occur and caregivers need to learn ways to protect themselves and the persons with dementia to reduce injury.
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