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Implementing Change in a Special Care Unit

Implementing Change Project

“The person with dementia will be attracted to anything or anyone in the environment which will help them to attach meaning and purpose to their lives.”

Gwendolyn de Geest

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The task of cultural transformation

In order for a home to be a nice place to live, it must be a nice place to work. Studies have shown that one of the most important factors in quality of care for persons with dementia is his/her relationship with direct care staff. In addition, how staff are treated or perceive to be treated often affects how they treat residents (Rudder, 2004).

In working with the care partners at Memory Care Manor setting, the task has been to identify some implementation strategies for cultural change and to outline a Model of Care which will enhance the lives of both the person with dementia and also their professional and family care partners.

The culture shift which must occur on Memory Care Manor is for all of us care partners to be “person–centered.” This is not about talking the talk, it is about walking the walk. Being person–centered requires us as care partners to be self–aware. Being person–centered is very close to empathy, it involves wearing someone else’s shoes, this means respecting each individual’s past life and being supportive of their current feelings. Being person–centered is not something we do, but something we feel. “We spend life as a human being, not as a human doing” (Sheard, 2006).