The “This is me” project is developed to help the clinical team in the hospital to get to know their patients with dementia, including their needs, likes and key life histories, what helps and what works. It is a simple and practical communication tool for a family to tell the clinical team about small details that might make a big difference for the care of the patient.
The one-page document is filled out by a family member during admission. Family may write something about important daily routines, what may upset the person and what makes the person feel better. These information can enable the clinical team to see the patient as a whole person with unique values and preferences, so nurses and everyone in the team are equipped with knowledge to deliver person-centred care that is tailored specifically to the person's needs.
“This is me” can help reduce distress for the patient with dementia and staff who care for the patient. It can also help to prevent issues with misunderstandings, and more serious conditions such as malnutrition and dehydration, delirium, agitation, etc. Nurses use the information to build care plan, so it makes their work much more efficient and effective.
“This is me” puts families in the front seat of our care partnerships. Families are empowered with the opportunity to have more influence of the patient care. Families are the experts who know their loved one the best. They can offer unique contributions and this is particularly important for patients with dementia who may not be able to articulate their needs when they are sick.