How to Seek Calm In Your Busy Day
We started with an information/education piece as promised at the last session. More information and tips here.
Then we invited group members to discuss issues affecting them. As usual we covered a broad spectrum of topics.
A member, whose wife had recently died, told us of her wonderful funeral service and the large number of people who came. The care home staff had been very good – another member also said how that home (the Meadows) provided a very good service. Both agreed that an effective care home allows you to enjoy quality time with your loved one.
Support for ex-Service people
The discussion moved on to whether there was special provision for ex-service people. Examples of the support available are:
- SSAFA (the Armed Forces Charity) has joined forces with Age UK in an initiative to improve the lives of veterans born before 1950, their families and carers. By working jointly and pooling resources, they are hoping to build on their shared expertise and create communities where elderly veterans are well looked after and get the help and support they deserve. You can find out more information here. (Greenwich is not one of the project areas at the moment).
- The British Legion have 6 care homes, 4 of which have some provision for people with dementia. More information here.
Making a connection
Another member highlighted the need for care home staff to be able to build a rapport with the people they are caring for, particularly to understand how to enable them to live the best lives they can. For one cared-for person this meant a regimented regime, another could not cope with choices, yet another preferred a much more relaxed approach to their care. We considered what to do if someone very strongly objected to water on their heads, how could their hair be cleaned without the use of force? It seemed complicated, until a member suggested dry shampoo – this sharing of ideas is an example of the benefits of a mutual support group.
A carer’s husband had experienced two different approaches from hospital staff. The first group knew him as a fit and well man, who then developed an illness that they anticipated to be temporary. They expected him to be lively and engaged (his normal approach to life). The second group knew him as very ill and confined to bed. Their expectations were very low, even though his illness was temporary. When members of the two groups met, there was an interesting reassessment of what might be expected following recovery from the illness. It was interesting to ponder on how we react to people based on our perception of their abilities and possibilities.
Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)
We had a lively discussion on the need for repeated DoLS assessments when people move between institutions, the resulting delays and issues arising. There is information here and we shall be revisiting the subject at our next meeting.
Two members were taking up respite provision for the first time. We await developments with interest.