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Empowerment and Advocacy

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Updated: November 19, 2005

12 Guidelines for Assessment

One of the most important facets of Alzheimer's care is to promote practice that affirms the worth of people with dementia. It is not only people with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia that need to be empowered, it is also their caregivers. Social care agencies involved in providing care must remember that providing choice, information and control is essential to good practice.

Equalize the relationship between the service user, the person with Alzheimer’s, their caregivers, and the service practitioner is central to this. Health professionals would do well to follow these 12 guidelines that promote positive empowerment practice.

  • Pre-eminence is given to the service user's understanding. In other words, the service user’s experience understanding is given priority and is seen as more influential.

  • The service user is believed.

  • The service user’s wants are determined.

  • Personal and environmental strengths are explored.

  • Assessment of strengths is multidimensional.

  • Uniqueness of the individual is acknowledged in the assessment.

  • Client-friendly language is used.

  • Assessment is conducted as a joint activity.

  • A mutual agreement is reached.

  • Blame and blaming are avoided.

  • Singular cause-and-effect thinking is avoided.

  • The intention is to assess need, not to diagnose deficits.
  • C. Cowger 1994

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