The Turkish Alzheimer Association is taking part in an innovative Erasmus+ KA2 Project named AdatHome, together with AFAC, UPV, ETERNIS, Westfälische Hochschule Gelsenkirchen and Spominčica - Alzheimer Slovenia. The aim of the project is to develop a training programme supporting carers (mainly family members) in acquiring and developing basic skills and key competencies for improving the quality of life of people with advanced dementia (GDS 6-7) in domiciliary environments.
The training programme will comprise three focal packages:
1) Non-Verbal Communication and Sensorial Stimulation
2) Adaptation of Care Tasks
3) Assistive Technologies.
The full package will include training materials and design of practical training activities and their implementation in domiciliary environments; the programme will be enhanced by the development of an e-training platform.
Recently, the partners have been working on non-verbal communication strategies and techniques, focusing on intensive interaction, learning the language of non-verbal people and communication through images. Sensory stimulation based on "Snoezelen" therapy, music therapy, massage therapy and "Namaste Care" is quite a challenging topic. The main techniques involve approaches like touch, caress, washing and moisturising, combing hair, use of realistic dolls and animals. These are quite reformist applications that need to be practised with care.
For instance, "Namaste Care" was developed only in 2013 by Joyce Simard in the US, aiming to help the person with dementia to remain connected to others by focusing on their emotional as well as physical needs. It is described as "holistic" because it is incorporated into all aspects of daily life and involves a range of physical, sensory and emotional approaches and focuses on the person rather than the process and protocol. An example would be giving a bath for the pleasure and enjoyment of having a bath rather than focusing on a bath as a process to get someone clean. These approaches support people with advanced dementia in many activities, for example managing pain, making sure they are getting enough to eat and drink and/or use of music to manage anxiety and stress.
The ADatHome training package will continue with “Adaptation of Care Tasks to Advanced Dementia in Domiciliary Environments” and practical training activities such as nutrition and feeding; medication and body health; bowel and bladder function; detection of pain and illness; mobility, hygiene and rest; ensuring safe environments and self-care of carers, will also be included.