Making a person with dementia comfortable helps his/her family largely because these individuals have fewer things to be concerned about. For example, whenever their person is comfortable, s/he engages more fully with others, resists care less often, and is less prone to weight loss.
Comfort Matters Dementia Care Education encourages family members to partner with staff caregivers in several ways. One of these is to provide staff with information about their person with dementia. A form such as What Caregivers Should Know about Persons with Dementia * gives staff answers to questions like these: How does he like his coffee served? What were her favorite songs? What name does the person want to be called? Staff use this information in conversations with persons with dementia as together they do the person’s activities of daily living. Frequently these conversations bring ease to situations that would not exist otherwise.
Families-close friends of persons with dementia may also benefit by viewing the video The Progression of Dementia.* Here family members describe what to expect from the person with dementia as s/he progresses through mild, moderate and advanced stages of the disease. The video shows the importance of comfort for the person with dementia as well as his/her family (running time 6:45 minutes).
What Families-Close Friends of Persons with Dementia Need to Know about Comfort Care is an online course available to families-close friends of persons with dementia who live in a health care organization where staff are committed to comfort care. The staff have either completed Comfort Matters Dementia Care Education or are in the process of doing so.
* Click on the underlined phrase to see this content.
Click here to read the one page Introduction to this course and learn more about its content. Taking this course with family members or close friends is a great idea because you will be encouraged to talk with other people about what you’re learning. Of course, you may take the course alone. Or, if you wish, talk with the social worker at the health care organization where your person lives about enrolling along with others who may want to learn alongside you.
Comfort Matters Health Care Organizations arranged according to the states in which they are located is part of this website. You will find addresses as well as contact information for each organization. You will also notice a date, or possibly two dates. The first date is when the organization affiliated with Comfort Matters and staff studied comfort care coursework.
When there’s a second date, this is the date the organization completed the requirements for accreditation by Comfort Matters. Accreditation means that those organizations have made adaptations to their systems so these focus on comfort and that staff completed their coursework and now embed their learning into practice with persons who have dementia. Organizations that have no second date are typically working toward accreditation, but just haven’t gotten that far along. Click on the Accreditation tab for more information.