'˜CLEAR' model for dementia care

An innovative new assessment and intervention model which is changing the way people living with dementia are treated and giving them a better quality of life has been developed by the Northern Trust.

Health professionals in Northern Ireland and the UK and beyond are recognising the unique success of CLEAR Dementia Care, and its ability to transform dementia care.

The model was developed in response to challenges that staff in care homes face when providing care.

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People living with dementia can present with behavioural and psychological symptoms that staff can find hard to understand. These behaviours are often a sign of distress the person experiences as they try to cope with the daily challenges of living with their condition.

CLEAR Dementia Care aims to understand the behaviour in the context of the person and their environment, identify any unmet needs and then try to make changes so these needs are met. This gives staff a better understanding of the person so they can give the best possible care and also improves the experience of the person with dementia. There are other models to help understand behaviour in people living with dementia, but this model is unique in how it helps carers to accurately record behaviour and support them to implement change.

The model was developed by the Northern Trust’s Dementia Home Support Team which is made up of clinical psychologists, social workers, nurses, occupational therapists and support workers who understand the wide range of needs of those living with dementia.

Dr Frances Duffy, Consultant Lead Clinical Psychologist for Older People at Northern Trust, said: “We need to see the world through the eyes of people with dementia in order to support them effectively and to reduce distress.

“When we know what is causing someone to behave in the way they are, we can then implement solutions – and more often than not they are about small, simple actions.”