There are many scenarios where persons living with dementia may face difficulties and require assistance.
The K.I.N.D Gesture and C.A.R.E Approach can help us to remember what to do and be more confident when interacting and assisting persons living with dementia, especially in situations where they may appear to be lost.
The K.I.N.D Gesture
When you come across someone who is alone and appears anxious, be K.I.N.D
Keep a lookout for people who show the ABCD signs of dementia. They may also appear unkempt, and/or ask for food or money. The ABCD signs of dementia are:
- Activities of daily living: Difficulty performing daily activities or tasks such as cooking or dressing.
- Behaviour: May be socially withdrawn, more easily upset and frustrated.
- Cognition: Difficulty remembering things, problems with language and performing calculations.
- Disorientation: The person may lose his/her way in less familiar places, have poor orientation of day, date, and/or time.
Interact with patience.
- Ask one question at a time, for e.g., “Can I help?”. Be patient when waiting for a response.
- Talk and communicate slowly.
- Jog their memory by giving them the names of the nearby landmarks or the name of the current location.
Notice their needs and offer help.
- Bring them to a place to sit and rest. You may also offer a drink or some food.
- Ask for the next-of-kin’s whereabouts or contact number, or if they can recall their home telephone number.
- Check if they have some form of identification or look for an identification sticker with next-of-kin’s details e.g. EZ-link Card.
The identification sticker may look like this:
Dial for help.
- Call the next-of-kin.
- Alert security if found lost in buildings.
- Bring the person to the nearest Go-To Point that can provide assistance.
- Please call the police at 999 as the last resort.
- Continue to chat with them to provide reassurance until help arrives.
Prominent Person-Centred Dementia Care Approaches
Clear, Simple & Patient When Talking to A Person Living with Dementia
- Use short and simple sentences
- Maintain a calming and comforting tone
- Speak clearly at a slower pace
Acknowledge His/ Her Concerns
- Maintain eye contact
- Put the person at ease
- Be attentive when listening to him/her
- Be prepared to spend more time with him/her
Respectful & Reassuring
- Bring the person to a quieter location
- Give him/her time to think and respond
- Use a friendly and caring tone
- Show him/her care, concern and encouragement
Engage to Provide Comfort & Build Trust
- Be friendly
- Create and maintain a comforting presence when talking to the person
- Build a trusting relationship with him/her
⇒ Introduce yourself
⇒ Assure the person you are there to help him or her
- Ask appropriate questions in their preferred language, to help him/her regain self-awareness
⇒ “Who did you come with?”
⇒ “Where are you going?”
⇒ “What would you like me to do?”
⇒ “How would you like me to help you?”
⇒ “Do you want us to give _____ a call”