More on Al’s interview: Dementia Beyond Drugs: Changing the Culture of Care
Q: The common view is that it’s best for people to age at home instead of in a care facility. You argue that a person with dementia receiving care at home experiences some of the same difficulties as those receiving care under the institutional model. Explain.
A: Family members and community-based care professionals have been taught the same “declinist” view of dementia that our biomedical model perpetuates in nursing homes. Home-based care also relies primarily upon informal family care partners who lack the resources to create an environment that meets the changing needs of the person with dementia. As a result, the home becomes an
inflexible, disempowering environment where sedating medications are prescribed by family doctors as heavily as what is seen in nursing homes.
Q: How can a family caregiver embrace the experiential model of care?
A: My book offers new perspectives for viewing people who live with dementia, showing their potential to continue to be actively engaged in their care and with the world around them. It provides extensive advice for all care partners on how to communicate with and understand the needs of people in distress. It teaches empowerment within safe parameters and explains ways to restore meaning to the many activities of daily life.