iSupport For Dementia - Training and support manual for carers of people with dementia - 2021 - Malta - ENG

Introduction

Worldwide, around 50 million people have dementia, a number that is projected to triple by 2050. Dementia causes significant psychological, emotional and social impacts on families, especially carers of people with dementia. iSupport aims to prevent and/or decrease mental and physical health problems associated with caregiving and to improve the quality of life of those caring for people with dementia.

iSupport is a self-help tool that provides skills and knowledge training for carers of people with dementia, including family members, relatives and friends. It includes five modules and accompanying exercises, namely: (i) introduction to dementia; (ii) being a caregiver; (iii) caring for me; (iv) providing everyday care; and (v) dealing with behaviour changes. The modules and exercises reflect those included in the hardcopy version of iSupport.

Course purpose

iSupport has been developed to provide accessible, evidence-based training and information, tailored to carers’ needs. It aims to improve knowledge and caregiving skills, such as carers’ ability to cope with dementia symptoms and care for themselves.  iSupport seeks to enable people with dementia to live in the community while preventing or reducing carer stress. The lessons included in this manual were carefully designed to help carers tackle the important challenges that they may face when caring for someone living with dementia.

Main objective

Improve knowledge of dementia and caregiving skills, such as carers’ ability to cope with dementia symptoms and engage in self-care.

Specific objectives

  • Improve carers understanding of dementia, including what happens to people with dementia and what to do if you think that your family member or friend has dementia.
  • Understanding how to improve communication, supported decision-making and involving others in caring for the person living with dementia.
  • Reducing carer stress by making time for pleasant activities and thinking differently.
  • Building carers’ capacity to provide care for the person living with dementia, with a focus on eating and drinking, including creating more pleasant mealtimes and preventing health problems, using the toilet and continence care, and personal care.
  • Understanding common changes in behaviour for people with dementia that might be distressing and upsetting for both the person with dementia and the carer. These symptoms include memory loss, aggression, depression and anxiety, difficulty sleeping, delusions and hallucinations, repetitive behaviour, walking and getting lost as well as poor or decreased judgement.

Audience

This iSupport manual is primarily for carers of people with dementia, including family members and relatives, friends, and other carers. However, iSupport may also be of interest to others, for example:

  • Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) providing skills training, support and/or information to carers of people with dementia.
  • health and social care workers providing care and information to carers of people with dementia; and
  • Private sector representatives involved in the development of health technologies for dementia, dementia health care service delivery or health care insurance.

 

Module Contents

Introduction to dementia

What is dementia and how does it affect someone

Being a carer

The journey together

Improving communication

Supported decision-making

Involving others

Caring for me

Reducing stress in everyday life

Making time for pleasant activities

Thinking differently

Providing everyday care

Eating and drinking: more pleasant mealtimes

Eating, drinking and preventing health problems

Toileting and continence care

Personal care

An enjoyable day

Dealing with behaviour changes

Introduction   

Memory loss

Aggression

Depression, anxiety and apathy

Difficulty sleeping

Delusions and hallucinations

Repetitive behaviours 

Waking and getting lost

Changes in judgement 

 

Last update: 03/Jun/2022