Dementia: Getting To Know You

There are two reasons why Charlotte and Maureen hit it off so well over the weekend.  Firstly, Charlotte understands dementia, and gave Maureen the time and space to settle in her company. Secondly, I stayed around to help ease Charlotte into working with us.

In retropsect I think we came up with an excellent approach to a carer’s first visit. I deliberately stayed in the background early doors.  Looking out of the kitchen window, I saw that the two of them hit it off from the moment they met.  Within minutes smiles, and laughter, rang out around the garden, as the remaining washing was placed on the line.

As the morning progressed I left Maureen to tell Charlotte her story.  I also opportunistically used events to help Charlotte see Maureens functional capacity first hand.  Maureen approach to trying to find my missing antbiotics gave Charlotte direct evidence of Maureen’s cognitive function.

I don’t think Charlotte had time to read Maureen’s outdated Care Plan.  I deliberately threw her in at the deep end, and helped her to stay afloat.  On many occasions over the weekend, I saw her take opprotunities to encourage Maureen to open up.  I overheard her using the photographs, on the wall in the dining room, to encourage Maureen to talk about her family.

I would suggest that my ad hoc induction process, and I have only shared part of it, hit the spot.  It was far more effective than any written document created by me, or whoever.   Charlotte knows far more about Maureen than professionals who have been coming here for quite some time.  In the short time she was with us she cajoled Maureen to tell ‘her side of the story’.  It is rather sad that her senior role within the Agency may mean that we may not always enjoy her company.  However, I have feeling that her brand of care will be replicated throughout the Agency.

About Remember Me

I am a retired adult educator. My wife had a stroke in February 2014 and now has mixed dementia. Her recovery from stroke has been exceptional apart from 50% loss of peripheral vision and vascular damage. 'Dharma For Dementia' is my approach to being Maureem's Care Partner: it aims to end the suffering of 'Prescribed Disengagement' (Swaffer) .
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