What Is Dementia Care Mapping?

One method of integrating person-centered care is Dementia Care Mapping (DCM). It entails observing people with dementia and the care they receive regularly. Dementia Care Mappers keep track of their observations to help persons informal care settings like nursing homes and hospitals.

It provides a holistic picture of a family's requirements and allows the care team to understand how each of these elements interact. The University of Bradford's School of Dementia Studies offers formal DCM training programs and has a training manual. Read on to learn how you can incorporate dementia care mapping into your elderly loved one's care plan.

What To Know About Dementia Care Mapping

Professor Tom Kitwood and Dr. Kathleen Bredin developed DCM at the University of Bradford in the late 1980s. A demand arose for dementia care evaluation tools that focused on the person with dementia's perspective, as no such tool existed. 

DCM can be used to "enhance well-being and quality of life for people living with dementia at a personal level. Small items that bring delight or discomfort are highlighted throughout the mapping process. This may be expanded upon to ensure that people have more opportunities to experience happiness throughout their day.

There are five stages to the DCM process:

  • Briefing and preparation
  • Observation
  • Analysis
  • Reaction (both written report and verbal feedback)
  • Action preparation

Who Will Benefit From Dementia Care Mapping?

All people living with dementia, especially if there are concerns about the quality of care being provided and everyone engaged in the person's care, including staff, family members, and visitors, can benefit from DCM. 

It allows everyone to reflect on and analyze the care they are providing and collaborate to achieve the best possible quality of life for the person in question. DCM isn't just for hospitals, nursing homes, and hospices; it may also be used in memory care settings and as a supervisory framework for home care workers.

Finding the right approach to a difficult situation like dementia can be tough for your elderly loved ones. Taking the initiative to prepare them and your family for the massive adjustment is the first step. 

Incorporating the Dementia Care Mapping with your chosen dementia care facility is a good way to keep everyone involved in your loved one's care. If you wish to read more about dementia care, explore our blogs at Senior Strong.

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William Rivers is an editor with a master’s degree in Human Services Counseling at Maine State University. He has more than 20 years of experience working in the senior healthcare industry.
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