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Alzheimer's Disease

Carers, caregivers, relatives: good practices and behaviours to adopt.

Alzheimer's Disease

The expertise of the Orpea Group

In order to support their loved one over the long term and preserve the family atmosphere, caregivers must not neglect themselves as the disease progresses. When you find yourself in the position of a caregiver, you often think you can look after your sick relative on your own. However, it is essential to know how to schedule your time, to give yourself moments of respite, to protect both yourself and your loved one, and above all to surround yourself with the right people. Solutions exist to help you and to take over patient care:

  • homecare services
  • Day care in an institution, once or several times a week
  • short stays in nursing homes
  • outpatient clinics in the follow-up care sector

For over 30 years, Orpea has been involved in supporting patients with Alzheimer’s and related diseases in its facilities in France and abroad.

Personalised care is based entirely on a comprehensive approach to the patient and combines a variety of expertise:

  • Setting up a multidisciplinary organisation built around the residents: geriatric specialists, psychologists, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, nurses, art therapists, dieticians and social workers. A team of experts in the service of creating adapted pathways.
  • The development of non-drug therapies to
    • Protect and maintain acquired skills (reminiscence workshops).
    • Calm behavioural disorders (massage-relaxation).
    • Reduce prescriptions of psychotropic drugs (neuroleptics).
  • The ORPEA Group has developed a tool for monitoring drug prescriptions in all of its facilities and organises training in conjunction with university centres to reduce psychotropic treatments and any restrictions on individual freedom. To know more…
  • Defining an architectural concept based on abundant natural light in the living spaces, adapted individual rooms, passive supervision and safe walking. Some units, for example, are equipped with door handles allowing the care teams to access each room, giving the resident the assurance that only they and the care teams can enter and that they will not be subjected to unexpected intrusions by other patients.
  • Identifying new support methods: finger food, light therapy etc.
  • Key point: continuous staff training on specific and evolving topics such as “How to communicate with a patient“, “How to manage behavioural problems“, “Non-verbal communication

Innovation in the Group's facilities

A culture of progress and innovation, the promotion of multi-cultural exchanges between the various teams, and the commitment of employees to residents and patients are just some of the assets which are driving forward everyday management in the Group.


Some examples in the Group residences:

  • St-Rémy-les-Chevreux Residence, France: Let there be light! The quality (colour) and intensity of light have been used to improve the mood of the residents during the day and it works!
  • Asti Residence, Italy: The therapeutic train. A dedicated room resembles a train compartment with a TV screen in place of the window showing a moving landscape. Very useful for calming states of crisis.
  • Konz Residence, Germany: Reduction of antipsychotics. Neuroleptics are often used to control the neurobehavioural changes of Alzheimer’s disease and are harmful to the health of patients. In this facility, an effective programme has been implemented to reduce prescriptions. 
  • Carina Residence, Belgium: Regulating the days with the senses. In this facility entirely dedicated to Alzheimer’s disease, the residents wake up, for example, to the sound of birds singing, the smell of coffee, and the illuminated ceiling announces the sunrise. he colourful spaces have been arranged in a unique way so that everyone can identify and recognise the different areas. Temporal disorientation is reduced and appetite is improved.
  • Villa Cenacolo Residence, Italy: Doll therapy. The use of dolls is common in activities for people with dementia. By supervising the activity, this Italian team makes it a real non-drug therapy for behavioural disorders.
  • Borgaro Residence, Italy: Memory training. A cognitive stimulation programme in partnership with the University has been established and studied. It has shown positive results in maintaining cognitive functions over the course of three months compared to a control group.
  • Orpea, Spain: Introduction of “Nuka” the social robot. This small toy robot takes the form of a seal which purrs when stroked and stops when the patient stops. This way, the patient is stimulated.

Konz Residence, Germany