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Carpe Diem: an approach worth discovering

On December 10, 2017

Carpe Diem means “Seize the day” or “Make the most of this day.” This expression nicely represents the objectives of the approach by the same name, developed for people with Alzheimer’s disease.


Ms. Nicole Poirier, originator of this approach, teaches us more on the subject and the resource centre.

IN FEW WORDS, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE CARPE DIEM APPROACH?

The philosophy behind the Carpe Diem approach is the result of several years of research, reflection and experimentation. In 1995, thanks to the commitment of family and the community, Maison Carpe Diem opened its doors in Trois-Rivières, in an old rectory. In this warm and inviting home, it was possible to implement this approach, guided by the following principles:

  • The person is considered before the disease.
  • Assistance does not focus on deficits but on the person's resources and abilities.
  • All behaviour has meaning and is a message addressed to the workers who must strive to understand them.
  • It is up to the workers to find the gateways to the other person’s reality, not the person fighting the disease to understand our reality.
  • The organization and services adapt to the person and his or her needs, not the other way around […].
  • Medication is not used as a means for controlling the person and is not used to replace human assistance or fill organizational gaps.

The objectives of the approach involve making the absolute most of life, feeling accepted and useful through social interactions and maximizing independence.

 

WHERE DO CAREGIVERS FIT INTO THIS APPROACH?

The family and loved ones are integral in assisting their relative and are an important source of information for the team. They know how their relative wants to be assisted, the person’s habits, preferences, etc. Therefore, communication between staff and family is of utmost important, to provide the best assistance possible to the person.

 

 

WHAT SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE?

The services provided by Carpe Diem – Centre de ressources Alzheimer can start when the first signs appear and continue after death:

  • Information and support for the person and his or her loved ones
  • Family and individual assistance
  • Short stays (respite)
  • Long-term care
  • Consultation, conferences and training for the general public, professionals and health workers.

 

Finally, Carpe Diem emphasizes the importance of changing the way people look at people with Alzheimer’s disease and fighting against the prejudices that surround the disease, to support a positive change in practice.

 

For more information or to contact Carpe Diem – Centre de ressource Alzheimer, visit www.alzheimercarpediem.com