Personhood - Exploring and Respecting the Essence and Uniqueness of Each Person Living With Dementia

Sunrise  |  September 8, 2020

Jackie Pool, Director of Memory Care at Sunrise Senior Living UK is an occupational therapist specialising in dementia. With over 30 years’ experience, Jackie is at the forefront of her field in designing solutions for dementia care that put the person first.

Jackie recently took part in a three-part video series for Sunrise. In the first video she talks about the importance of personhood when caring for someone living with dementia and ensuring they live well with the condition.

Jackie explained that to provide the best dementia care, you must explore and respect the essence and uniqueness of each person. She said that it is the people closest to the person with dementia who can often provide a lot of help. It is helpful to use their knowledge on their loved one so carers can help them to live well in a care home setting.

Personhood guides Memory Care at Sunrise homes, Jackie explained:

“We all have a sense of personhood that is sustained by the way other people treat us and connect with us. But it is more important for people living with dementia because it is more difficult to sustain those relationships.”

In order to provide the best dementia care, Sunrise homes do not focus on people’s disabilities. When referring to people living with dementia, the care teams are specially trained to focus on positive words that highlight people’s abilities. Memory care is always focused on understanding the individual - the person as a whole. Jackie added:

“Don’t get too hung up on the symptoms of dementia and just remember who your person is and relate to them through your emotional connection with them.

“Even though the mind doesn’t remember, the heart often does.”

For more information about dementia care at Sunrise, click here: