Butterfly Model of Care
An emotional journey – where ‘feelings matter most’.
Butterfly Model of Dementia Care is a person-centred approach to caring for someone living with dementia. It aims to improve their lives by focusing on the person and not the disease.
Butterfly care is an emotional approach. People living with dementia can no longer process thoughts or reason and life is based on their emotions. The world each one of us lives in is a place that is familiar and well known to us. However, for a person living with a dementia, their world can be a strange, confusing and sometimes upsetting place. It can look, feel and sound different.
Emotional support and connection are at the heart of the Butterfly care.
A person’s life journey makes them who they are today. The emotions of our memories affect us and our behaviour daily. Residents’ life stories are compiled with families which help us to understand their worlds.
If residents appear emotional but unable to clearly articulate the reason for this, we have the background to enable us to connect the resident to a happier place emotionally.
This may be discussing happy memories from their past, GAA, gardening, showing photographs or whatever is meaningful to the resident.
Positive emotional connections bring joy
The environment is colourful with lots to look at, touch and do. For example, there may be life size shop fronts, a pub set up or a corridor with a garden theme with flowers and a watering can. Butterfly care encourages connection to how people are feeling inside and supporting them in their reality whatever or wherever that may be.
A connection can be something as simple as a doll which might remind a person of children or a family they have cared for, or a toy tractor that might remind a person of the years they spent working the land, a toy cat or dog that might re-connect a person with their love of animals and pets.