Learning Objectives

Participants will be able to:
  1. List three indicators of relative well-being in persons with dementia.
  2. Specify three benefits that result from establishing a relationship that supports a resident's state of relative well-being.
  3. Identify two environmental factors that are important to consider for the program.

Time 45 Min.

  • 15 min. Introduction to the program
  • 20 min. 1:1 Social Interaction among participants
  • 10 min. Discussion


  1. Prepare introduction using the guidelines or video the introduction and a simulated 1:1 social interaction session between someone with expertise to demonstrate supportive communication techniques and methods for supporting a sense of relative well-being during social interaction (such as your social service person, psychologist, psychiatrist etc.) and a volunteer acting as a resident.
  2. Post announcement for all staff and volunteers. (Could use a picture of 2 people talking while walking or sitting) with title:
    "Getting To Know Your Resident With Dementia As A Person With Something To Teach You"
    Learn how to support your resident's and your own:
    • Sense of Personal Worth
    • Sense of Control of Self
    • Sense of Social Confidence
    • Sense of Hope
  3. Prepare index cards with numbers on them to hand out to partners for 1:1 social interaction. Put the same number on each half of the index card and add an A or B: 1A, 1B, 2A 2B etc., and then cut the cards in half. Mix up the numbers to hand out to participants in random order.
  4. Handour: Developing a Relationship With the Resident (PDF, 30.4KB, 2pg.) and questionaire (PDF, 618KB, 3pg.) for each participant.
  5. Arrange chairs in groups of two around the room depending on the size of the group.
  6. If using video: check TV/VCR settings and have video set to start at appropriate time.


  1. Explain the purpose of the program.
  2. Show video or explain techniques used in social interaction to support a resident's sense of relative well-being using the handout.
  3. Tell the participants that you would like them to practice and experience the program with a partner so that they can understand what it feels like to be supported and listened to by another person as their residents will. This exercise will also help them to examine what gives them a sense of well-being and what supports it in their own lives. This will help them to understand the intervention better so they will be able to help choose the residents that it may benefit. It may also help them in their interactions with residents.
  4. Handout questionnaires and numbers to participants. Ask participants to sit with the partner with the matching number.
    1. Ask all participants to use the questionnaires to get to know something about what gives their partners a sense of well-being as their partners give whatever answers they feel comfortable in sharing with them.
  5. Additional directions for participants:
    1. Each participant with an "A" after their number will try to learn as much as they can about what makes their partner feel a sense of well-being. You will do this by asking your partner the questions on the questionnaire to get started.
    2. After 10 minutes I will give a signal and you will change roles with your partners and the "B" partners will ask the questions of their "A" partner.
    3. Look at your partner as someone that has something new to teach you about his or her life and how he/she copes with it. When we interact in this way with others we gain experience to deal with our own lives and problems. We have each learned valuable lessons from witnessing the courage and goodness of the residents we care for. In sharing these important aspects of our lives with each other, we can experience satisfaction in being able to give and receive support. This gives us a feeling of well-being.
    4. Try to learn something new about your partner.
    5. What makes your partner feel good about his/her life?
    6. Support that aspect of your partner's identity.
  6. After 10 minutes, signal to switch roles using handout.
  7. After 10 more minutes, signal end of interaction section.
  8. Start discussion on what both roles felt like for each set of partners.
  9. Move to a discussion of what it would feel like for a resident with dementia.
  10. Ask participants to identify some of the indicators of relative well-being they see in the residents with dementia they care for.
  11. Hand out worksheets and ask participants to use them to help them practice what they have learned by visiting with one of their residents with dementia during three separate short visits.
  12. Tell them that this can be used as an additional inservice when the worksheet is returned to you. Also, tell them that you will be available and interested to discuss the results with them.

Staff Exercise to Apply Learning from Inservice (PDF, 1.01MB, 2pg.)

Staff Exercise Instructions

This exercise can be used as an additional inservice and/or as a quality indicator of the effectiveness of the inservice. (It could also be used by volunteers in the program after their visits to indicate changes in the resident's sense of well being during the course of their participation in the program.)

Staff will fill in this worksheet after you have visited a resident with dementia that you care for or provide services to, during three separate visits of about 15-20 minutes each.

Try to use what you have learned in the Social Interaction Inservice to recognize and support the indicators of relative well-being in the resident.

This will give you a measure to use to indicate improvement in the resident's sense of well-being as you try to form a supportive relationship with the resident during these visits.