The training approach instead of focusing attention on the difficulties of communication (with verbal language) to reduce suffering, aims directly to create the conditions for a sufficiently happy coexistence among the speakers, in the here and Now the verbal exchange. The first goal is to make sure that the person with dementia who tends to reduce the use of the word can instead continue to talk.
Paradoxically is then observed that the communication also improves is that mediated by the non-verbal language that mediated by the word.
-For whom is the training approach?
From the point of view of the training approach, speaking means producing words or, in cases of more serious deterioration, sounds. Also the incomprehensible words, repeated, truncated, the rude language, the insults, the blasphemies, the cries and the complaints constitute the speaking.
When we encourage speech in people with dementia, we often see a result that goes beyond expectations: We also manage to communicate.
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-What benefits does this approach have for the patient with dementia?
The training approach is not in a sense of stimulation, and not even rehabilitation or reorientation. The skilled caregiver, instead of stimulating, seeks to take the stimuli that come from the interlocutor. He hears his words, tries to avoid asking questions and seeks to accompany him in his possible world, rather than seeking to lead him to his own (that of the caretaker).
The skilled caregiver, instead of seeking to rehabilitate, recognizes the elementary competencies (competence to speak, communicate, emotional, to hire, to decide) of the interlocutor at the moment in which they emerge, as well as emerge.
-What benefits does this approach have for the family member of a patient with dementia?
The skilled caregiver as the first task has to learn to listen, not in a psychological sense, but in the sense of taking note of the words that come, because they have a value, as they are, in itself. Trying to understand them is important, but this comes only after, not everyone is in a position to do so, this is rather a psychologist's competence. We work mostly on the first step (listen to the words). Only then, if possible, we take care to seek them the communicative sense.
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-Is there a different intervention depending on the patient's phase?
The empowering approach is an approach that all caregivers working in residences for older adults can use with all the elderly who are out of memory and disoriented, at all stages of the disease, 24 hours a day.
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-How is a session based on this approach?
The skilled caregiver learns to choose the words that are followed by favorable results (the interlocutor speaks and does it warmly) and to avoid the words that are followed by unfavorable results (the conversation is interrupted, the interlocutor reacts With rage, aggression, closes). This is the golden rule of the empowering approach.
The trainer when he is in an unpleasant situation, with difficulties, does not react spontaneously (automatic), but he stops to reflect for a few seconds and then chooses to say the words that most likely will be followed by Favorable results (based on previous experiences, using training techniques).
Doctor of Psychology, Master in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology, Clinical Hypnosis Specialist. Recognized by the International Biographical Center (Cambridge – UK) as one of the top one hundred health professionals in the world in 2010. He also teaches in various national and international universities
Scientific disseminator participating in congresses, conferences and seminars; collaborator in various papers, digital media and radio programs; author of the blog “Advanced Open Learning in Psychology and Neuroscience, and twenty books on diverse subjects.
Currently he conducts research in the field of Big Data applications in healthcare utilizing data from India, United States and Canada, among others, work which he complements with consultancy to technological startups geared towards psychology and personal wellbeing.