NursePartners adopts the terminology “carepartner” to describe a “caregiver” who is a partner in a client’s care. The key word is partner, since the certified nursing assistant involves the client in their own care. This helps preserve the client’s sense of dignity and responsibility for their own well-being.
In particular, carepartners connect with clients before providing care. This requires getting to know more than that client’s clinical care needs and digging deeper into the client’s interests and life history.
It also involves using the hand-under-hand technique to guide and support the client to partake in their own care. Sometimes this can be used to help transfer a client, help bring a spoon to the mouth, or hold a sponge while bathing. For some tasks, the carepartner can help trigger muscle memory which allows the client to continue the action independently.
The Mayo Clinic also differentiates the term caregiver from carepartner.
“Learning to approach support and caring as a partnership means seeing the person living with dementia as a while person, and not making assumptions based on a diagnosis or label. It means including the person with dementia in decision-making. A care partnering approach is one of doing ‘with‘ rather than always doing ‘“‘for'” (Chp. 2, p. 18).
The advice from this article comes from NursePartners Positive Approach to Care training as defined by Teepa Snow. We have also incorporated information from the Mayo Clinic’s magazine, Living with Dementia: A Guide to Caregiving and Support. Specifically it came from Chapter 2, “Your role as a caregiver”. The original content was published by Meredith Operations Corporation in 2023.