Tips for use
Who might use them?
The resources have been developed for people who may not have had a previous experience of being with people with advanced dementia.
They could be used by: schools, community groups, dementia-awareness organisations and any member of the public.
What are the rules when using the resources?
Good news- no rules! no right or wrong answers!
Our hope is that using this resource leads you and others to think about things you maybe haven’t thought about before- to want to have conversations with others or to find out more about dementia.
Some general tips
Each of the Valuables resources is stand-alone, so you can choose to do one, two or (we’d like to hope) all three.
You can try these resources on your own or with others.
Using these Resources
These resources are designed:
- for family members/friends of people with advanced dementia, as well as professional carers who are supporting the person with dementia during the online visit.
- to be used as a set of resources for the full journey of preparing, visiting and reflecting on the visit. Each of these resources can also be used on their own if required.
- specifically for the online context. It would also be possible to use these resources if the visits were face-to-face.
- With guidance within each resource on how it can be used. It is assumed that people using these resources are familiar with setting up an online visit on platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype.
Note: These resources do not detail the practical points of setting- up online visit on platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype. Practical free IT support at home is available from www.abilitynet.org.uk.
Appreciating the Complexity of Online Visits with Your Family Member/Friend
In creating these resources the Treasure team have been mindful:
- that using online platforms can create opportunities and challenges and that you may already have experienced ways of connecting during an online visit that work well, or not so well, for you
- of the range of ways in which your family member/friend living with dementia may impact on you, and the whole host of emotions that may come up for you before, during and after a visit
We propose a way of gently engaging with these complexities that is summarised in the phrase:
‘loosening expectations- staying with what is happening right now’
Loosening expectations– it is such a human thing to have expectations when wanting to connect with family members/friends. The nature of disease progression in dementia, as well as the online setting, may mean that your interactions look and feel different to those you have had together in the past. We want to acknowledge the sense of loss that may come with this, and how this has been for you. Loosening expectations involves being gentle with yourself when recognising how things have changed and also suggests trying to let go of a set goal for how the visit will go or for how you or the other person will be during the visit.
Staying with them in what is happening right now- your family member/friend is most likely focused on the current moment, and what is happening within them and around them right now. Alot of what is happening for them may be unknown to you; to ‘stay with them’ is to keep on the look-out for how they are responding in the moment- as it is here tiny treasures may be found.