DCI Dementia Cafe Held Their January Gathering

by KT Leong

DCI Dementia Cafe of Ipoh kicked off 2024 with a great session featuring a presentation by Calvin Chong, a certified trainer of the Teepa Snow Positive Approach to Care (PAC).

There were regulars as well as newcomers to the monthly DCI Dementia Cafe sessions, so it was a very comfortable atmosphere; a far cry from the somewhat awkward early days. The participants were almost raucous in-between topics, compared to the more dry sessions of the early days of DCI Dementia Cafe.

Calvin’s been a long time supporter of DCI Dementia Cafe and this time, alongside Emily Wong, a PAC Advocate, he also brought along Jasmine Santiago, a professional nurse who is a PAC in-training consultant and full-time care giver for people with dementia (PwD).

Calvin’s presentation was quite unlike other sessions previously held at DCI Dementia Cafe. While there have been a wide field of topics discussed before, from basic understandings of dementia to more advance techniques on how to handle PwD, Calvin brings it all back in a very humanistic needs perspective.

At the end of the day, we are all human and we have basic needs. Such as the need for food and sleep. When one is hungry, one cannot focus. When one does not get enough sleep at consistent times, one becomes irritable. Even passing wastes, such as through urination and defecation, contributes to our overall state of mind.

It’s eye opening and reminds us that basic needs, such as food and sleep, need to be met before we deal with more complex issues. You need to have a place to go, before you buy a car.

Calvin then integrates and demonstrates the PAC techniques, such as hand-under-hand, and how these techniques can be used to interact with PwD. For instance, if you’re meeting a PwD who is sitting or lying down, standing over them may make them feel uncomfortable. Indeed, it would make a perfectly healthy person feel uncomfortable as well. So by squatting down to their level or lower, you can make them feel more dominant and in control; thereby more comfortable. These are psychological considerations that people don’t really think about, but make perfect sense.

Having witness how Calvin presented, Pak Peter, who is the coordinator of DCI Dementia Cafe, said that “I strongly believe today’s interactive PAC workshop would be beneficial to all of Ipoh’s Care Home management and staff as training/re-training”

We couldn’t agree more.

Stay with Ipoh Echo as we continue to support this great cause.

The next Dementia Cafe gathering will be on 27 February at 1 Lasam Greentown.

Follow DCI Dementia Cafe on Facebook at Dementia Café of Ipoh

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