Hi Robin, tell us about your client who has dementia
“She is a very pleasant and entertaining lady, who has a wonderful history of art and culture. She has a great sense of humour.”
What is it like caring for someone with dementia?
“A live-in care job looking after someone with dementia is pretty easy really. The main thing is that you have to empathise with your client. By empathising you can anticipate someone’s wants and needs. Then you can anticipate mood swings and interpret their causes, so you can work out how to reduce them and how to work to keep your client as contented as possible.”
What are the good points about caring for someone with dementia?
“I think it is all good.”
And the bad?
“My client has vascular dementia. You can tell when she has had an episode; when she has deteriorated. That is probably one of the worst points, watching that. And she sometimes knows her condition, and will say that “this isn’t good enough.”
So I have to talk her through it. I usually talk about her garden (she loves her garden), about how there are seasons for everything, how a rose will come out into flower but then it will inevitably fade. This conversation about the circle of life puts things into perspective for her; it helps her deal with her condition.”
How has your training helped?
“The training has really helped me interpret her feelings and wants. If you can do this, then you know how to avoid frustration.
Although she is on a downward slope there is no reason for her not to experience the joys of life. The training helped teach me how to rationalise and use tools of experience and shared interests so she can remain contented.”
Tell us one achievement you are proud of with your client with dementia
“I have been able to increase my client’s mobility. Every morning we go through 20 minutes of exercises so she can keep mobile; so she can flow, physically.”