Neil has live-in carers who have been looking after him, and “managing his dementia very well”, as the psychologist said. Neil has lived in the same two streets in South London throughout his life. He knows the area and people know him.
He loves to be independent and our team of live-in carers helps with this. They help him keep his independence and maintain that dignity that comes with making your own decisions. Actually, Neil thinks that he is able to be more independent than he really is. So our live-in carers help to manage this feeling – to keep him feeling independent yet help him remain safe.
If Neil wants to go for a trip on the tube, for example, a carer will suggest coming with him “because I want to come too” – not to keep him safe.
Another example is with washing clothes. Neil wants to do as much as possible, so will bring clothes into the kitchen to be washed in the washing machine. However, he now finds it difficult to separate clean and dirty clothes. The carer either distracts him by saying they’ll do the washing later (and then quietly sorting the clothes when he’s left the room) or doing a very short wash, so he feels that he has been useful.
One of Neil’s main loves is music. He knows almost every number one hit since the 1960s, and arranging his collection, and buying new CDs to listen to is one of his chief enjoyments. He will sometimes stay up until the early hours listening to music, only going to bed at two or three in the morning.
An important advantage of live-in care for Neil is that he and the carer have all the time in the world to do things.
Routine is very important to Neil; he gets very anxious and agitated if for some reason there is a change to his routine. Every routine has to take its time and Neil does not like to be hurried. In fact, his morning routine i.e. toilet, washing, getting dressed and breakfast can take up to five hours!