Groundbreaking new Trust App for dementia carers
A groundbreaking new App in dementia care has been launched by dementia professionals in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust.
The CLEAR Dementia Care© App will help transform how people understand behaviour in dementia.
It provides advice to help carers find effective ways to interact and respond to the person with dementia to enable them to meet their needs. It also provides carers with a tool to record behaviours and identify patterns to address the associated need.
The App has been designed for carers of people living with dementia at home and in care homes, but will also be of interest to anyone who is likely to meet a person with dementia.
Dr. Frances Duffy, Consultant Lead Clinical Psychologist for Older People in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust led the development of the new resource.
She explained: “Dementia is a life changing condition for the person and also for those who love and care for them.
“Carers can sometimes struggle to understand changes in the person with dementia. At times they don’t know what to say or do and, sometimes, without realising it, they can say or do things that can increase distress.
“Making small changes to how we interact with the person with dementia can really help them to feel safe and valued.
“CLEAR Dementia Care© has been developed to help us see the whole person with dementia. When we understand the perspective of the person, we can find ways to reduce potential distress. The outcome is enhanced quality of life for the person with dementia and an empowered and confident carer.”
The App, which is available for free now on Apple and Android devices, is the first comprehensive App of its kind dealing with the professional care of a person with dementia.
It takes carers through five areas that are important to consider to understand the whole person; cognition, life story and personality, emotional and physical wellbeing, activity and environment and relationships.
Using illustrations it brings to life how the perspective of the person with dementia can sometimes be different from the perspective of their carer and how this can lead to potential distress and conflict.
There are examples of helpful and unhelpful ways to respond and interact.
The app is also freely available on the HSC Apps4Dementia library https://apps4dementia.orcha.co.uk as part of its ongoing activities to increase the uptake of technology in supporting people living with dementia.Dementia is on the increase with an estimated 22,000 people living with the condition in Northern Ireland. There are several Apps on the market to assist people with mindful activities but this is believed to be the first to offer professional psychological support.