A week in the life of an Essex Dementia Care Practioner
After gathering as much information on individual’s needs and preferences at introduction visit, a bit of research on various activities or places is undertaken for that individual.
This research would include the planned activity, suitability, the route and distance of travelling if any, cost, destinations facilities available and of course the weather forecast, just for example.
Monday 10 am – Midday Visit
Individual is female and lives in her own home she is cared for by her husband.
She dislikes going out, but enjoys chatting about her family pictures and playing Scrabble.
“Keeps my brain going” she says with a smile at every game.
I have managed to introduce flower arranging, as she enjoys watching her keen gardener husband going about his gardening chores. I encourage sing-alongs with her husband and myself. This in turn has brought back memories.
Something in common to the sixty eight years married couple. I print off reminiscence material in the form of pictures that would trigger memories to discuss.
Tuesday 10 am – 1 o’clock Visit
Individual is male. Lives independently supported by family and attends our dementia activates centres four days a week. He is physically active and likes dancing and walking. We visited a tenpin bowling alley which he enjoyed a lot.
He thrived on the musical environment, dancing as he bowled. His talent at the game also brought with it his confidence and he was also willing to have game of Billiards too. This he also discovered he was also good at.
His poor appetite was nowhere to be seen as a normal meal was eaten at the alley.
We have been to local parks and fed the ducks and their ducklings. Visits to local eatery’s and reminiscence about his working years as a furniture manufacturer are some of the other activities within the visitation.
2.30pm – 4.30 pm Visit
Individual is male and lives at home supported by his son.
Individual lacks interest in lots of previous activities and motivation is very poor. Cognitive abilities are poor too.
A rapport has been built up gently over a period of time. He likes to chat about his daily routine and environment, as recall of memories are difficult.
He has a local park he talks about often and when we went for a drive, he communicated more clearly and would comment on what he can see in a positive way.
I had discovered he really liked landscape views. This therapeutic outing became a routine and soon he was sitting having a cup of tea and slice of cake, enjoying the views in different locations. A reconnection and an interest in his surroundings has been the outcome.
Wednesday 10 am -1 pm Visit
Individual is female and lives at home with support she enjoys visiting coffee shops and has interests in history and talking. We have been exploring coastal destinations. History to explore visually and boutique style shops that appeal to her are one of her preferences. There have been very positive outcomes achieved which was evident by her singing on the way home!
We have also visited her local environment which she has enormous pride in, evident in her enthusiasm to tell you. This in turn triggers career memories and memories of her husband.
Wednesday 1.30 pm – 5.30 pm
Individual has DLB. Cognitive symptoms are more apparent at present. Likes being outdoors and is a member of the RSPB .I am still getting to know this individual. We visited Wallasey Island to do beach walking, stone skimming and explore the wildlife it had to offer. This individual’s communications are very limited so it’s important to watch body language and facial expressions. Activities aimed at maintaining his interests in wildlife.
Thursday 10 am – Midday Visit
Individual is wheelchair bound and in residential care. Likes doing craft, having pampering sessions such as hands/feet therapy, singing, visiting the sea side and second hand shops.
She is happy in her care setting and is visited regular by her family. Support on a one to one basis of these areas of interest also helps to boost her individuality within the care setting as there’s always an air of interest from others making her feel very special. We will talk of memories and giggle about all sorts of things during the planned activity.
Thursday 1pm – 3 pm Visit
Individual is female. Enjoys quizzes, visiting the beach, cider, theatre shows, history, talking and pampering sessions. Lives in residential home and can get very upset about her care setting. No regular visits from family. No bond between carers has happened. Support to provide company and stimulation in a very under stimulating environment.
Regular hair care was set up within this support package, offering therapeutic activity on a regular basis and another companion whom a good relationship has formed. We have a very established bond that has developed over a few years.