Culture Change is a process that can be truly successful only through the involvement of all staff, elders and family members. Learning circles are an excellent way to achieve that involvement. And yet, in the case of elders living with dementia, that task seems daunting, if not impossible, to those who know them best.
The rules of the circle are simple: a question or topic is posed, each person around the circle shares their thoughts or feelings. After everyone has shared, the circle is opened for general discussion.
This video takes you into the learning circles of three Midwestern homes. Experience very powerful and delightful exchanges of staff and elders. Believe that you can make this happen in your home too. The video can be a benefit to family members who want to discover ways to become more involved as a volunteer in the dementia community and can benefit all staff as they see how to discover and hold the stories of the elders.
While the DVD shows images, highlights relationships, and delights the viewer with great stories, the companion workbook provides the solid activities for the trainer or the facilitator guiding the learning process.
Laying the foundation for the learners, the workbook initially focuses on three main topics:
- The five basic human needs (Inclusion, Attachment, Occupation, Comfort and Identity)
- Knowing the Person (the 're-menting' concepts put forth by Tom Kitwood)
- Strengths common to persons living with dementia
The workbook then lists and describes each of the ten actions that strengthen a community circle for elders living with dementia. Each action is further supported by a learning activity.
Using this workbook and DVD, caregivers and housekeepers as well as the activities and social services staff will soon be comfortable engaging elders, staff and families in these delightful circles.