Janet and I discussed the highlights of the Alzheimer’s Show
Janet had taken the virtual dementia tour and found it well planned, interesting and prompted many insights into the way some people with dementia may perceive the world. We would recommend you take a tour, even if it is only a condensed version, as at this show. You can see a You Tube video about a tour here (video by Leeza’s Gibbons from the USA).
We discussed the Playlist for Life the Call to Mind game I mentioned in my show blog here. The group was interested in the idea of an individualised musical playlist based on tunes that prompt positive memories. Each member had examples of how the person they cared for had enjoyed music and how it often led to conversations about their past. We plan to use the Call to Mind game at our Friendship Group.
We talked about the difficulties of working with some care home staff who don’t always see those-in-care’s well-being as their priority. An example was where a group member’s mum was left in bed even though she could walk with help. The staff member said the care plan indicated she should be kept in bed – this plan was from a previous home, which had not been updated in the light of her physiotherapist’s view that she could and should walk. The member of staff also said the carer’s mum could be violent and needed more medication – the daughter knew that her mother needed to be encouraged and persuaded to do things – a skilled carer could cope and, after all, the home was being paid to deliver care for her mum. Being confined to bed results in wasted leg muscles, difficulties in balance, and frustration leading to aggression – not in anyone’s interest.
We also noted the need to always keep your own notes when dealing with just about everyone. Doctors, hospitals and care homes rarely keep their notes as well as they should (and sometimes lose them). Keeping note puts you in a stronger position and helps avoid mistakes.
A group member’s wife was about to have a respite break for the first time. The member had done his research and was hopeful the break would do them both good. Sadly, because the wife cannot travel long distances, she will miss her daughter’s wedding. His only reservation was that the home required her to have a two-week respite break and would not offer anything shorter.
Another carer’s dad has been in what he feels is a good nursing home, with no turn-over of staff in the nine months he has been there. As a result, they are both calmer and able to enjoy positive time together.