How does The SPECAL Method work?

The SPECAL method has the potential to re-instate a sense of well-being for the person with dementia, which can be sustained for life.

We help carers to construct a tailormade care plan which gives crucial confidence to everyone concerned.

Family, friends and professional carers need to be equipped with tools and techniques to manage the condition in a positive way, based on an in-depth understanding of the world the person with dementia is living in.

This understanding is based on the SPECAL Photograph Album, a very simple analogy used to explain how normal memory works, what happens to all of us as we age, and the single dramatic change that occurs with the onset of dementia.  

The SPECAL Photograph Album shows that dementia-associated memory loss does not have to lead to a change of personality. There are even ways of working positively with dementia – a counter-intuitive but fruitful consideration.

A person with dementia will experience random, intermittent and increasingly frequent memory blanks relating to the facts around recent events. However, some memories of past events are always available and can be readily recalled by the person, given the right circumstances.

The SPECAL method uses selected intact memories from the person’s pre-dementia past and links these to their activities in the present.  This means that the person is able to maintain a relatively content life in the present, drawing on their own memories of situations and activities which may have occurred many years ago but still have useful meaning for them in their life today.

Find out more about how it works in practice by reading our Case Studies and FAQs.

Further examples are given in our booklet ‘Making a Present of the Past’® which can be found in Our Literature section.