Safety and Compassion in Dementia Care

Dementia is difficult for everyone – individuals suffering from the disease, their families and care providers offering support and education.

Patient with Care ProviderAt St. Peter’s Hospital, a dementia education curriculum called Gentle Persuasive Approaches (GPA) in Dementia Care teaches care providers across disciplines how to use a respectful and compassionate approach in responding to patients exhibiting responsive behaviour, which may include reactions to something negative, frustrating, or confusing in the patient’s environment. These behaviours can sometimes be unintentionally aggressive or potentially harmful to patients and care providers.

“We developed the curriculum to assist care providers to safely provide person-centred care, preventing injuries associated with responsive behaviours,” says Patricia Boucher, Executive Director of AGE (Advanced Gerontological Education), which developed GPA and is based at St. Peter’s Hospital. “Equipping frontline care providers with the right strategies promotes safety and quality patient care. GPA involves getting to know patients as unique human beings and using refocusing techniques when there are escalating behaviours.”

GPA is currently being used across Canada. The curriculum continues to evolve and is currently in its third edition. A number of clinicians at St. Peter’s Hospital participated in the development and updating of the GPA curriculum.

“We are grateful to be working with the health care providers at St. Peter’s Hospital to help make a positive impact on the lives of dementia patients and their families from across the region.”