Apr 16, 2016

The Art of "Centering Yourself" in Dementia Care

Not only does centering relieve stress, but it also helps you to feel confident, capable and fully present as you engage with your loved one.

By Rita Altman

Centering yourself is for Alzheimer's caregivers.

To be great caregivers, it’s important that we are able to fully concentrate on the needs of the person with memory loss. This means we need to start with calm, clear heads and open minds.

The best way to clear your head from all of the other thoughts that can distract you is to practice a Validation Method technique called "centering."

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Centering involves taking a few seconds to close your eyes, find your center of gravity, and just concentrate on your breathing. As you breathe, let all of the extra thoughts, distractions and inner dialogue float away until you are only concentrating on your breathing.

When you open your eyes, you’ll be more ready to focus on the person with memory loss and connect with that person on an emotional level.

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Not only does centering relieve stress, but it also helps you to feel confident, capable and fully present as you engage with your loved one.

Centering Yourself in Dementia Care

Rita Altman, R.N., M.S.N., C.V.M., is the Vice President, Memory Care and Programming for Sunrise Senior Living where she uses the latest evidence-based research to design and oversee the implementation of Sunrise's memory care and assisted living programs.


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Original content the Alzheimer's Reading Room