One of the most effective techniques in dementia care is probably one of the least discussed and documented. Caregivers and professionals alike rely on redirection to accomplish many tasks each day that otherwise would be impossible to complete.
Redirection is the simple act of acknowledging and distracting in order to redirect focus to a more productive or safer topic or activity.
An individual with dementia may become overly obsessed or fixated with returning to a past home, speaking to a family member who is no longer living or catching a train or bus that is not coming.
Using reality orientation with individuals with dementia or correcting them is no longer recommended, rarely effective and may create painful emotional periods. It only serves to create a continuous loop of sadness, frustration and confusion.
Redirecting, when performed appropriately and effectively, can comfort and move individuals away from episodes of anxiety, fear and confusion.
Follow these three simple, but critical, steps when employing redirection techniques:
You may feel like you are telling little white lies, and you are. What is important is that you are moving them away from emotionally raw and painful feeling to a place of comfort, purpose and involvement. It may last for the rest of the day or it may need to be re-focused and redirected multiple times each day. The important thing is to be genuine, follow each of the steps and stay engaged.
Planning for the Progression
After the Alzheimer's Diagnosis