The Social Model of Dementia Care

Woman playing backgammon with senior citizen in a retirement homThroughout the day, Auguste’s Cottage residents participate in supervised group activities such as crafts and memory games, or you might find some of them exercising or gardening.  One common characteristic of residents is many have smiles on their faces.

To keep them happy, American Senior Communities utilizes a treatment for dementia known as the social model of care.  The social model definition of disability is described as “the loss or limitation of opportunities to take part in the community on an equal level with others because of physical and social barriers”. The social model, or “person-centered” model of care, provides a homey, more active environment and focuses supporting a patient with dementia through a social environment.  It supports residents’ dignity and independence.

In the social model approach of dementia care, the focus is placed on the residents’ cognitive needs rather than on medical or physical needs. It concentrates on the remaining abilities and skills of the person.  Activity is centered on stimulating the mind.  Residents feel a greater sense of belonging, comfort, and security and enjoy a better quality of life.

The social model of dementia care has founded its principles on treating the patient as an individual and respecting their rights and wishes.  This person-centered approach in the treatment of dementia tailors care to an individual’s needs and promotes choice, maximizing the abilities and independence of the person as much as possible.

This treatment for dementia does away with many of the hospital-like amenities. Instead of institutional furnishings, home-like furniture is used. Kitchens are in each memory care center. Interactive art is throughout the center.  Institutional practices, such as over-head paging systems, are eliminated and structured, active daily program are held for residents.

Although the residents’ medical issues are not the primary focus of the Auguste’s Cottage program, full nursing services are available to those who require them.

According to various studies, residents of “person-centered” facilities experience a higher quality of life and less frequently report feelings of loneliness or depression.

For more information about memory care at American Senior Communities, please visit www.ASCSeniorCare.com/ac.

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