< certified first responder dementia trainer < certified first responder - dementia trained
People with Cognitive Disabilities
- My name is? I'm here to help you, not hurt you.
- I am a ? (name your job).
- I am here because? (explain the situation).
- I look different than my picture on my badge because? (for example, if you are wearing protective equipment).
- Your picture identification badge (as you say the above).
- That you are calm and competent.
- Extra time for the person to process what you are saying and to respond.
- Respect for the dignity of the person as an equal and as an adult (example: speak directly to the person).
- An arm to the person to hold as they walk. If needed, offer your elbow for balance.
- If possible, quiet time to rest (as possible, to lower stress/fatigue).
- Short sentences.
- Simple, concrete words.
- Accurate, honest information.
- Pictures and objects to illustrate your words. Point to your ID picture as you say who you are, point to any protective equipment as you speak about it.
- What will happen (simply and concretely)
- When events will happen (tie to common events in addition to numbers and time, for example, "By lunch time" "By the time the sun goes down").
- How long this will last? when things will return to normal (if you know).
- When the person can contact/rejoin loved ones (for example calls to family, reuniting pets).
Ask for/Look for:
- An identification bracelet with special health information.
- Essential equipment and supplies (for example wheelchair, walker, oxygen, batteries, communication devices [head pointers, alphabet boards, speech synthesizers, etc.]).
- Mobility aids (for example, assistance or service animal).
- Special health instructions (for example allergies).
- Special communication information (for example, is the person using sign language)
- Contact information.
- Signs of stress and/or confusion (for example, the person might say [s] he is stressed, look confused, withdraw, start rubbing their hands together).
- Conditions that people might misinterpret (for example, someone might mistake Cerebral Palsy for drunkenness).
- Reassurances (for example, You may feel afraid. That's OK. We're safe now.)
- Encouragement (for example, "Thanks for moving fast. You are doing great.. Other people can look at you and know what to do").
- Frequent updates on what's happening and what will happen next. Refer to what you predicted will happen, for example: "Just like I said before, we're getting into my car now. We'll go now."
- Distractions. For example, lower the volume of the radio, use flashing lights on a vehicle only when necessary.
- Any written material (including signs) in everyday words.
- Public address system announcements in simple words.
- The information you've learned about the person with other workers who'll be assisting the person.
United States Department of Health and Human Services
Notice: While certification promotes and maintains quality, it does not license, confer a right or privilege upon or otherwise define the qualifications of anyone in the healthcare field.
“Someday there will be a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. Until that day, continue with your dementia education. They deserve your best!”
Sandra Stimson NCCDP CEO