Simile provides education, experiences, and insights that help people discover how they are similar despite their differences.
What is Relationship Enhancement?
Relationship Enhancement is a unique, sustainable approach to care for family caregivers and support workers. It offers a better understanding and appreciation of the experience of cognitive decline with the goal of connecting through feelings to build trust and provide meaningful care at home and in the community.
Cognitive decline is used instead of “dementia” or “Alzheimer’s” to describe changes in an older person’s ability to think, reason and make plans. This term more accurately describes the physical symptoms of the condition and separates them from a person’s feelings and coping skills – their unique experience of their changing circumstances.
Why is Relationship Enhancement Important?
Relationship Enhancement has the potential to benefit everyone affected by cognitive decline:
A focus on feelings and effective support provides a person who experiences cognitive decline with a safe place to explore, learn and discover new ways to adapt and engage with others.
Meaningful, caring relationships reduce stress for family caregivers and support workers. This is demonstrated through research that shows viewing a ‘dementia’ patient’s life as meaningful and being able to develop a cooperative relationship is crucial for nurses’ experience of strain.
When a person who experiences cognitive decline continues to engage and participate in activities at home and in their community, quality of life and wellbeing are enhanced not only for themselves, but also for their family caregivers, support workers and members of their community.
Barriers between people who are very different begin to fade when community members come together to effectively support someone who experiences cognitive decline.
Our Mission To improve the quality of home support available for people who experience cognitive decline through the development and delivery of Relationship Enhancement workshops for family caregivers and support workers that focus on meaningful care.
Our Vision To create a culture of care in home support where meaningful care for people who experience cognitive decline is achieved through complementary programs for family caregivers and support workers.
How We Can Help
The Relationship Enhancement approach to care offers a renewed perspective on the experience of cognitive decline. Workshops address specific topics of interest to family caregivers and support workers that offer the education, experiences and insights they need to provide meaningful care for people who experience cognitive decline.
Please check back with us at this website or on Simile’s LinkedIn or Facebook pages for information about when workshops will be available.
Beverly Harper, B.A., P.S.W. is a Creative Solutions Specialist. She has conducted extensive research and gained valuable insights from her front-line work as a Personal Support Worker with a variety of different people who experience cognitive decline in both home and institutional settings. Relationship Enhancement reflects her unique approach to care that incorporates credible, published research and uses examples from everyday life.
The Myth of Alzheimer’s, Peter J. Whitehouse, St. Martin’s Press, New York, NY, 2008
Talking to Alzheimer’s, Claudia J. Strauss, New Harbinger Publications Inc., Oakland, CA, 2001