There are three components to treating with Reality Orientation (RO), those seniors that have Dementia. The primary goal, remember, is to reduce confusion. Begin with:
- “Active” or “passive” friendliness (also called Attitude Therapy) and try to maintain the attitude as their caregiver.
- A two-part component involving:
- Presenting yourself with basic orienting information if your client is confused (re-introduce yourself, explain who the client is and where they are)
- Get your client involved in his or her own environment. Tell your client what is happening around them at that specific time and reinforce their awareness of and interest in that said environment.
- Add to component number two by using props and/or clues from your client’s environment to orientate them; clocks, calendars, signs, newspapers, TV news, photographs and other personal belongings. If you are a caregiver in a group setting, you could do this third component in a classroom-type setting.
With each passing year and with each discovery, the RO treatment approach is growing and changing. Different therapeutic goals are established, techniques more clearly defined and manuals developed. Thankfully changes are occurring because new types of Dementia are being discovered all the time, so methodology should really change with all the current discoveries.
Since we all know that With Age Comes Respect, we should also know to make changes when they are needed as to best suit each and every client. If one thing does not work, adjust and try again!