Caring for Dementia Patients
At Minnesota Hospice, we understand the challenges of caring for a patient with dementia, especially as they approach the end stages of their disease. The Peaceful Path is a unique approach to care designed to address the needs of both dementia patients and their caregivers.
Our unique approach utilizes the following proven clinical interventions to address agitation and behaviors during this challenging time:
- A unique weighted Sensory Pal
- Individualized music therapy by a Licensed Music Therapist
- Reminiscence therapy through a personalized photo collage
- A spa bath that utilizes special care products and a calming foot and hand massage with lavender therapeutic oils
- Unique feeding tools to enhance the mealtime experience
Our Sensory Pal is a tool used to enhance the quality of life for our patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Sensory Pals promote comfort, sensory stimulation, and assist with agitation. Having something to hold and manipulate or “fidget with” creates a calming effect on a person with dementia. The textures, gadgets, weight and coziness of the Pal are all there for just that reason. The use of aromatherapy also aids in reducing agitation and restlessness.
Music therapy provides our patients with a means to connect, even after verbal communication has become difficult. Music may reduce agitation and improve behavioral issues. Peaceful Path develops an individualized music program, customized to the patient’s needs.
Reminiscence therapy was developed to help dementia patients relive past experiences by focusing their thoughts on significant events. A personalized photo collage captures those positive or personally significant events. This has shown to increase levels of well-being and provide pleasure and cognitive stimulation for the patient.
SPA Bathing and Oils
Frequently, dementia patients perceive bathing as unpleasant or threatening and thus become agitated and resistive. Peaceful Path offers a calming spa bath that incorporates the use of waterless soaps, soft cloths and a relaxing foot and hand massage with Certified Therapeutic Grade lavender oil.
Peaceful Path incorporates a specialty spoon and a Nosy Cup to help reduce mealtime frustrations. The shallow bowl of the specialty spoon allows food to slide off easily and encourages the patient to take small bites. The Nosy Cup minimizes aspiration by allowing the patient to drink easily without tipping the head back.