Dementia Services Information and Development Centre

Relationship Centred Approach to Care

The DSIDC subscribes to a holistic model of dementia that draws on research and clinical contributions made by both medicine, psychiatry and the social and behavioural sciences to better understand dementia.  The professional activities of the DSIDC have developed from a practical knowledge-based perspective underpinned by the fundamental belief that people with dementia have a right to be treated with dignity and respect and that many of the so called problems associated with dementia can be minimised or resolved through creative thinking.

The DSIDC supports the relationship-centred care approach that recognises the importance of the interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships that exist between the person and others around them.  The relationship forms the context within which caring occurs.  The interconnectedness of the physical, spiritual, social and emotional aspects of well-being and illness is recognised and the practitioner responds to the experience of the person with dementia holistically.  Exploring the meaning they attach to the experience of dementia provides insights and therapeutic avenues that are otherwise hidden.  Their perspective on their world and what is happening to them is made explicit through the nurturing of positive relationships.  It is the understanding of this experience that is key to promoting the well-being of the person with dementia.