This month, our stellar, ever-eager caregivers attended a training on Compassionate Touch, an approach to caring for people with dementia. We learned a little bit about how memory and memory loss work to gain a deeper understanding of how to treat our clients with the utmost compassion as well as respect and dignity.
We also were inspired with new ideas to engage our lovely seniors with dementia. We learned two techniques to employ the power of touch with our clients: a hand rub and a back rub. Not a massage, as we are not massage therapists, but a way to give a soothing touch to better reach and comfort our clients with dementia.
One of my favorite things about the Compassionate Touch training was that it was literally hands on. Julie, our instructor, taught a discussion and activity based class that really allowed us to learn by doing rather than simply watching and listening.
Hands On Activities
We looked at cards with pictures of nostalgic toys and items that we may have used in our childhoods or young adulthood. We went around the room to discuss our memories with the different items. We were able to experience first-hand the spark of joy that our clients may feel by talking about the past, in particular a past that they may remember better than the present.
I always feel that classes like this one with these types of activities will stick with me and better inform my caregiving. I remember how fun it was to see old things I hadn’t thought about in years…I would love for my clients to feel the same! Similarly, we practiced the hand rub and back rub on our peers. We were able to put the motions into our bodies to be prepared when the moment may be right with our clients.
The Importance of Ongoing Training
No matter how long you have been a caregiver, it is always beneficial to hear new ideas and to freshen up your approach. Trainings like this are so important to us, even for our caregivers who have been caregiving for 15 years.
Connecting with others who face the same challenges, and experience similar triumphs, is always invigorating and helps us stay our most inspired selves, ready to work with a smile on our faces!
For more information about Assisting Hands Home Care, our training, or to request a free consultation regarding our senior care services, please contact us at (847) 462-4402. We would love to hear from you!