Orientation

The term ‘orientation’ refers to a person’s awareness of him/herself; the people around him/her; where he/she is; and the date and the time. Older adults with Dementia may be especially disorientated about the date and time. Whilst not all people with Dementia can use calendars to discern a date, many individuals fi nd visual aids useful. Predictability, familiar events and routine can be comforting, especially when adults can be anxious not to miss loved ones’ birthdays and anniversaries or perceived appointments and visits.

Clocks and calendars can allow older adults to see the time for themselves, as well as prompt care home staff to provide reassuring repeated verbal reminders of the time and imminent activities. Visual aids are most eff ective when combined with a good understanding of a person’s life story, or life history, as an awareness of signifi cant dates like birthdays and anniversaries can help older adults orient to time, as well as helping you to bond with the individual.

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