Ubuntu Dementia Consulting wants all people with dementia to live their best life. How do we do that?
We will teach you how to fish.
As consultants, our goal is to guide you through the processes of bringing person-centeredness to life so that YOU can give people with dementia their best life. Each person is unique and we cannot possibly tell you what ”best life” means for each person. But we can show you how YOU can make this happen. We don’t have all the answers- because we do not live or work in your community. But we have a different vision of dementia in which people live well and we know how to get you there!
There is no cookie cutter approach to caring for people with dementia and there is no cookie cutter way for us to help you get where you want to go. Our consulting is individualized.
Creating a community for people with dementia is more than the “bricks and mortar”. Although the physical environment is important, it is important to create a culture in which people with dementia are known for who they are, their needs are understood, and staff feel supported to care for them and each other.
This is what we believe:
- People with dementia should have “rampant normalcy”- the opportunity to live their life in the same “normal” way that all of us live. We need to also honor their normal rather than impose ours.
- People with dementia can and do live well through connection, relationship, and community.
- People with dementia are more than their disease.
- People with dementia are individuals and we need to see them as individuals.
- People with dementia are whole human beings, not broken, not less than anyone else.
- People with dementia can and do make decisions about what is important to them, what they want, and what they don’t want.
- People with dementia have positive as well as negative “behaviors”, just like anyone else.
- People with dementia are no different than us.
- People with dementia have needs just like any other human being.
- People with dementia are always “there”.
- The needs of people with dementia are more than their physical or medical needs. They are joy, meaning, growth, security, autonomy, identity, and connectedness (thank you Al Power and the Eden Alternative).
- Rather than focusing on how to change people with dementia, we need to change.
- Rather than focus on stages of dementia, it is most important to focus on the individual. Individuals can’t be grouped into boxes. Individuals are complex beings and cannot be defined by the progression of their disease.
- “Behavior” is a form of communication.
- Knowing the person with dementia is fundamental to helping them live their best life.
- We need to meet people with dementia where they are.
- We need to focus more on the strengths of people with dementia and recognize their capabilities as well as challenges.
- We need to see things from the perspective of the person with dementia.
- We need to have empathy for the experience of living with dementia.
- We need to put into practice person-centered values of choice, dignity, respect, self-determination, and meaningful living.
- Good dementia care is not just focused on eliminating “problem behaviors” but enhancing overall well-being.
- We need to think and act differently about dementia.
- We can do better in how we care for people with dementia.
- We can learn from Ubuntu to do better. Ubuntu is a South African expression meaning "I am because you are".
Maybe you believe these things too. We want to help you make them a reality.