Friends for Life – Our Innovative Dementia Care
We’ve created a new approach to Alzheimer’s and dementia care that begins with shaping a caregiver’s mindset when it comes to care. We train all of our dementia-specialized caregivers to authentically become their client’s best friend.
To someone living with dementia, a best friend will be a coach, a confidant, and a pal who provides reassurance, along with personal care services. During their time together, our caregiver will learn their client’s life story, unique personality, and incorporate all of the little things that make your loved one so special.
While Alzheimer’s and dementia is painful for everyone it impacts, we hope to truly capture the spirit of a best friend in our care. Together we can fill the lives of you and your loved one with as much peace and joy as possible.
1. We learn your loved one’s life story.
Through family interviews and time spent with your loved one, our goal is to learn their life narrative, identify meaningful events in their past, and uncover their favorite things. We then include this knowledge in daily engagement. In understanding our client’s personalities, motivations, stressors, and hobbies, we are able to lay the foundation to create a unique program to incorporate in our outstanding care.
2. We build a dependable daily schedule.
The best way to create a meaningful care schedule for your loved one with dementia is to set a reliable rhythm for their day. We take what we’ve learned from their life story and continued interactions to build a functional schedule that begins the first thing in the morning and extends into overnight care. Your loved one can wake when they desire and begin with their favorite routine – like enjoying coffee with one sugar and two creams. You can have confidence that tomorrow morning, there will be coffee, and that their best friend knows the importance of that cup of coffee. Their daily schedule takes into account all self-care activities and provides time for your loved one’s favorite past times, whether that includes sitting on the porch after dinner, listening to big band music, or dancing.
3. We set the bar with a continuous stream of meaningful moments.
We define quality of life for an Alzheimer’s and dementia client as “a continuous stream of meaningful moments.“ While a daily schedule is critical in providing comfort to people living with either early or late phase dementia, we take it a step further by focusing on including activities that your loved one wants to participate in. While dementia may rob a person of memories and abilities, it does not damper a person’s spirit and soul. A person is still able to experience personal connections and daily joy. It is with this in mind that we connect with your loved one through participating in preferred daily activities and building joy for each day through a continuous stream of meaningful moments with best friends.
4. We incorporate the art and science of care.
To better our care, our caregivers maintain documentation of your loved one’s daily habits and behaviors. In measuring sleep, bodily functions, physical abilities, medication, mood, instances of agitation, behavioral outbursts, and bowel irregularities, we can understand the context of behavior and provide medical insight into changes or challenges. We lean into the medical, physical, and cognitive needs of our clients and formulate approaches. Our caregivers also undergo regular training to recognize client strengths and how to better utilize communication prompts and cues in care. We emphasize empathy in our caregivers through ﬁrst-hand exposure to life with dementia symptoms during our monthly Virtual Dementia Tour® events.
5. We are here for you too.
Even though throughout this journey it may feel like you alone, we promise you are not. Though it is a devastating diagnosis to receive, together, we form a support system for all who bear the burden of this disease. Throughout the journey, we hope to be your coaches, your advocates, and your resource for any information you may need. We can direct you to local support groups, activism events, pending legislation, and resources across the spectrum of dementia-related topics. Additionally, CaraVita hosts monthly community events to raise awareness and offer support to families affected by the disease.
We know that many family caregivers wake up each morning to ﬁght the slow and steady advance of the disease, while others have accepted its impact, and others still ﬁnd themselves careening between states of anger and depression. Through it all, our goal is to help you and your family learn how to live with the disease. You cannot change the fact that your loved one has dementia, but what we can do is maximize each moment by implementing care and communication to support your loved one in living a meaningful life.