What we perceive to be true becomes our reality. If you believe that an individual who has dementia is unable to bathe, dress, feed and toilet themselves, that will become your loved one's reality, only because you have made it so for them. Often, we unknowingly take away these abilities out of love, but also out of ignorance of what can be done. By doing for them, we have taken away their ability to participate in life, and have taken away much joy we could have shared together. It is our attempt to provide you an alternative to caring for your loved one, change your perception of the process of dementia, and therefore change your reality of what is possible in the months and years ahead. We call our approach to living with dementia, Dementia Possible Care.
It is estimated that between 65% and 85% of persons residing in nursing homes and assisted living facilities suffer from some form of dementing illness. In the past, health care professionals,including rehabilitation professionals, have automatically assumed that because there is not cure, there is no treatment. This is an inaccurate statement. Rehab professionals may have done a disservice to this population by not viewing the individual's needs and automatically dismissing their ability to respond to appropriate treatment6s solely based on a diagnosis. This mindset has developed in part by insurers' reluctance to cover services for progressive dementing illesses in the past. However, as the insurers have begun to recognize the value of intervention with this population, therapists must also revisit their intergral role in holping this population. Beneath the sever cognitive and physical impairment of a person with dementia remains a person who is very much alive. It is our job as healthcare professionals to discover that individual. IATB Dementia Care LLC recognizes that it is our privilege and duty to forward the quality of life for this population through humanistic treatments and techniques that maximize function and minimize suffering and dysfunction. For the demented individual to maximize function it is essential that the environment around them be adapted to meet both their physical and psychosocial needs. The person with dementia often does not have the cognitive skills to mentally adapt to a changing or unfamiliar environment. It is the therapist's job to adapt the environment to the individual. Without treatment, the individual's progressing symptoms of dementing disease includes: decreased initiative, difficultlies with planning and problem solving, and problems with interpreting the environment. It is no longer acceptable to avoid working with the individual with dementia because "there is no cure". Therapists must be confident that they are not treatiang the disease of Dementia; rather they are fighting the functional decline of the person that could be a result of both medical and environmental factors.