Be EPIC: Person-Centered Communication with People with Dementia

Award Date: 2017

Project Lead(s): Marie Savundranayagam, Director of Sam Katz Community Health and Aging Research Unit

Project Title: Be EPIC: Person-Centered Communication with Home Care Clients with Dementia

What is the issue?

People with dementia can experience difficulty thinking and communicating clearly. They may feel a loss of identity and become agitated or resist care. These responsive behaviours increase the likelihood of moving people with dementia to institutional care.

What did we do?

We assessed the effectiveness of an evidence-based communication training called Be EPIC. The Be EPIC training includes assessing the Environment, using Person-centered communication, understanding client relationships (I matter), and incorporating the Client’s abilities, life history, and preferences during routine care. Our goal was to see if Be EPIC could help personal support workers improve communication and relationships with their clients.

What did we find?

Be EPIC improved communication between personal support workers and people living with dementia. Personal support workers reported better client relationships, increased confidence, and renewed enjoyment for their work.