kitimat dementia home pilot project

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Building relationship

BRChanging the traditional “institutional”, risk-averse care model to a person-centred, “quality of life” model requires time and patience. Employees, management, families and visitors have to become comfortable with a different ethos that is important to building the relationships that are central to this model of care.  



  • Uniforms are used to help residents and guest to identify people who can help them. A great deal of flexibility can be afforded regarding the definition of “uniform” as long as the chosen “uniform” affords the appropriate visual cues to residents and visitors.
  • Staff have time to “be” with residents, to learn about them, and to understand how dementia alters their view their world.
  • Learning about the residents as people not patients.
  • Understanding where residents are in interpreting their world as their dementia progresses
  • Bonding and forming relationships.
  • Understanding that this is the “home” of the resident.
  • Staff learn that in relationship with residents they not only give of themselves but receive support as well. It is family.
  • The facility is not task oriented.
  • E.g. Paperwork preferably is not be done in an office, but if possible should be done either while sitting and chatting with residents, or at a table or small desk in the common area
  • Confidential work may be completed during the night shift
  • Case conferences focus on understanding rather than managing.
  • Family and friends are critical to the model of care.
  • There are no visiting hours.
  • Residents are free to have family join in a meal – “would you like to stay for dinner?”
  • Staff sit down to meals with the residents.
  • Staff are competent in expressing feelings and engaging in feeling based conversations.
  • A volunteer ombudsperson(s) will be recruited to:
  • Act as a “family” mediator between staff and residents and family
  • To be an independent ‘third party’
  • To help maintain the relationships necessary to a healthy family atmosphere
  • Has the following qualities
  • Empathetic
  • Person-centred
  • Calm and comfortable with people
  • Problem solving acumen.
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