Exploring Biographical Knowledge Into The Daily Routine And Care Of An Individual With Dementia
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IV. Discussion, Recommendations and Conclusions
The focus of this study was to explore how incorporating biographical knowledge into the daily routine and care of an individual with dementia can bring about changes in their behaviors that impact quality of care and quality of life. This chapter interprets the major findings of the study, considers its contribution to the research and practice of the care of people with dementia in a long term care setting. The implications for further research discussed as well as strength and limitations of the study considered.
The study makes a unique contribution to the existing literature on biographical approaches in dementia care. The findings concur with other biographical approach research from Life Story Work, Reminiscence Therapy and Meaningful activities in suggesting a positive effect of this approach for people with dementia in long term care setting.
First, it promotes increased understanding of the person. It enables nursing home staff to see a person in the context of his whole life. This in turn leads into deeper relationships. The voice of the resident with dementia can be heard when he or she is seen as a person and not just as a patient. The uniqueness of person’s needs and values can only be understood and adequately addressed by knowing his or her life story. As in case of Rosemary, by learning about her life experiences the staff were able to see not a “mean and loud woman” but somebody who expresses her fear of water getting into her ears, or attachment to her husband, with the agitated behaviors. Eugene, on the other hand, is trying to hold on to fleeting memories of Ludington. Only by learning and seeing pictures of his times in Ludington, staff were...
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...realities exist and a constructivist approach allowed me to work within my own value and belief system.
The limitations of this study are that the findings presented were only gathered over the data collection phase and no information available for effectiveness and sustainability over longer period of time. Also, bias can have arisen from the nursing staff as their reports to the researcher may have been influenced by knowing the researcher personally.
I believe this study is relevant to research, practice, education and policy making in order to improve the quality of care and the quality of life of people with dementia. The current economic changes facing health and social care services make it more pertinent than ever to maintain quality of care for people with dementia. A biographical approach to care is one evidence-based and effective way of attaining it.