Attachment and caregiving

Caregiving in dementia can be conceived as being a secure base or safe haven for the person with dementia.

old lady and carer

This requires an atunement of the caregiver with the needs and wants of the person with dementia much the same way a mother is attuned to the cues for food, comfort and safety that an infant gives to the mother.

Separations and reunions are the moments when this need for a safe haven becomes most keenly felt. When a caregiver leaves or walks back into the room the person with dementia is most likely to feel the sense of anxiety or relief/anger that can be evident with infants in Ainsworth’s Strange Situation.

What does it require of you to be a secure base for the people you care for? What can you do to be more a source of security and safety for the people you care for?

What do you do currently that causes people to feel safe and secure in themselves, not just physically but emotionally?