Lien Foundation: Hack Care Manifesto

This is a Manifesto: Guiding Principles to Empower Persons with Dementia and their Caregivers

 01 Let persons with dementia play an active role.
As much as possible, help them do as many things by themselves as they can. Doing so maintains an active state of mind and forestalls cognitive decline.

02 Encourage decision-making.
Even as life becomes challenging, present simple choices and let them continue making decisions. This helps to stimulate their minds and also gives them control.

03 Affirm their sense of self.
Respect them as persons and honour their desires and preferences.

 04 Have simple conveniences within easy reach.
When they can fulfil simple needs by themselves, their sense of agency is reinforced. Balance between being enabling and protective.

 05 Familiarity is comforting.
Avoid drastic changes. Include habitual rituals and objects that reassure. These help to conjure familiar associations and memories.

 06 Don’t forget the simple pleasures.
Delightful sensations – however fleeting – improve the spirit and well-being.

 07 Simplify the environment.
Clutter, noise, and other visual stimuli can be disorienting. Remove these environmental triggers for calmness and serenity.

 08 Do things together.
Encourage family members to interact meaningfully with the person with dementia. Include them in day-to-day family activities, but let them engage on their own terms.

09 Stay flexible and adaptable.
Caring requires the versatility to manage unexpected situations. It helps to be organized and prepared. Be willing to ask for help.

 10 The caregiver matters.
Simplify things for the caregiver as much as possible and make time for regular breaks. Self-care allows the caregiver to care better for his or her loved one.

Originally published in 2020

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