​Caregivers should validate each resident’s concerns and expressions and then distract that resident from negative behaviors using information from his or her past and lists of preferences and likes.

All interaction should begin socially with the use of a resident’s name. Staff members need to grant residents up to 10 seconds to provide a response before they start to help. Residents may need physical, verbal, or visual cues from the staff to fill in the gaps of missing words or thoughts and get their message across.

A caregiver’s behavior during communication should be loving, reassuring, calm, and positive.

The key to maintaining function is for caregivers to identify what each resident can still do and adapt the world around her to promote active, successful participation. Staff must learn the difference between doing with a resident and doing for a resident.

This change in attitude requires staff members to use sub-steps in accomplishing a skill, along with verbal prompting, patience, and asking themselves the question: “How can I enable this resident’s participation?”