Caring for a person living with dementia can be challenging and complex. Yet with good communication, understanding, knowledge of, and compassion for the person and their life experience, it can also be both immensely rewarding and enjoyable.
We offer foundational workshops in a range of related aspects of care for professionals working in dementia, mental health and wellbeing.
Our participants are generally helping professionals, including:
- People working in care settings in Health & Social Care
- Occupational Therapists
- Nurses working in the care sector
- Social care workers
- Activity providers
REAL Communication Works brings professional and skills development and learning about the care of the person, through highly interactive workshops.
REAL Communication workshops are ideal for people who:
- Want to grow their knowledge and apply it to their relationships with the people they care for
- Are curious about dementia, memory and communication and want to understand and use this knowledge in their work
- Wish to improve their dementia literacy and understand some of the scientific concepts, phenomena and processes that underpin the condition
- Learn best in an interactive, relaxed, sharing environment that is accessible for people, even without formal training
- Want to integrate evidence-based strategies into their work
Select from a range of one-day and half-day courses in dementia care, both face-to-face and on Zoom
“I FEEL THAT I HAVE A DEEPER UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO HAVE DEMENTIA NOW AND CAN GIVE PEOPLE BETTER CARE AS A RESULT.”
CARE ASSISTANT, DEMENTIA CARE RESIDENTIAL HOME, SURREY
Introduction to dementia and person-centred care
We take a look at what dementia is, its prevalence in society today. We consider the range of different dementias, how they present and the importance of knowing about them when caring for the person. We discuss what current knowledge of the brain can and can’t tell us about ourselves and those we may care for. We consider dementia-facts and dementia-fiction. We share and practice top-line tips to communicate effectively with the person and understand their outlooks and feelings.
“WE ARE PLEASED TO HAVE HAD YOUR TRAINING SINCE 2015 NOT ONLY FOR ITS BREADTH AND QUALITY – BUT ALSO FOR MAKING IT FUN.”
SOCIAL CARE DIRECTOR, WALES
We consider insightful dementia care and introduce the award-winning REAL framework – Reminiscence, Empathic engagement, Active listening and Life story, showing how each aspect of it can make dementia care easier, more authentic, meaningful, enjoyable and rewarding. We explore memory, the reminiscence bump and how it affects us all. We consider empathic engagement and the crucial importance of feelings. We practice listening techniques using our own stories and consider what good communication techniques may tell us about ourselves as well.
“ I HAVE FOUND THAT I LISTEN MORE INTENTLY TO WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING NOW – SO OFTEN, CONVERSATIONS CAN BE ‘LIGHTWEIGHT’… THE WORKSHOPS HAVE HELPED ME TO GET TO KNOW THE PEOPLE I CARE FOR.”
SENIOR CARER, CARE HOME, YORKSHIRE
Life Stories Matter
We consider the vital importance of life stories in the care of a person living with dementia and how knowing and understanding their experiences helps us to care about them as well as for them.
We consider our own preferences and use a variety of interactive learning techniques to develop carers’ own sense of self and personal history to prove the importance of life story gathering in their own self-image and therefore in the care of the person with dementia.
We show ways to encourage life story in order to develop positive sense of self-identity and wellbeing.
“THE WORKSHOPS WERE FULL OF WISDOM AND HAVE GIVEN ME SKILLS FOR ALL OF MY LIFE THAT I NEVER HAD BEFORE – AND NO ONE CAN EVER TAKE THAT AWAY.”
SENIOR NURSE, NURSING HOME, LONDON
Behaviour that challenges
All behaviour is communication. In this workshop we consider how a person’s behaviour may challenge us to understand that it may well be our own behaviour that is the challenge. We explore how the environment may exacerbate feelings of fear or anxiety.
We consider the major challenges for carers of a person with dementia: repetitive behaviours, walking around, agitation, perseveration, afternoon confusion and refusal.
We discuss how they can be provoked, sharing and practising evidence-based methods for defusing situations and promoting wellbeing and calm.
“THE FEEDBACK FROM FAMILIES HAS BEEN QUITE FANTASTIC.”
DAY CARE CENTRE MANAGER, NORFOLK
We consider the complex issues involved in caring for a person living with dementia for the families who love them. Emotional issues that emerge might include liability and guilt, loss, fear, anxiety and grief. We explore the (non-religious) spiritual needs of the older person and how these may be honoured addressed. We explore historical perspectives, looking at the social culture of earlier times – and consider how old mores may affect the person’s needs and preferences now. We consider the challenge of families with strong ideas about their relative and their needs that may be contrary to the person’s own and practice techniques to improve everyone’s wellbeing.
Our workshops complement mandatory training for health & social care staff, as well as medical, nursing, physiotherapy and OT students. They reflect CQC KLOEs – safe, caring, effective, responsive, well-led. We use evaluation to measure learning outcomes and impact.
REAL COMMUNICATION WORKSHOPSSummary of the benefits
The REAL Communication framework is underpinned by current Adult Social Care policy and guidance and reflects 12 years’ involvement with and feedback from carers, practitioners and people living with dementia. We are active members of the Department of Heath Quality Matters advisory board.
Some of our clients
REAL Communication workshops in action
REAL communication workshops are part of SCIE Training, learning and CPD for health and care
Dementia communication training inspires MiHC musicians in Wales.
Dementia presentation at an open forum event.
A REAL Communication Workshop at the Brookfield campus of The University of Leicester.
Want to know more?
We would welcome the opportunity to tell your more about our workshops – So why not get in touch!