An interesting evening of discussions, as usual.
We were very pleased to welcome Dean, from Oxleas, who came to this group (and our Friendship Group on 9th July) as part of his induction to his new team.
We also had a new group member join us and were pleased to be able to have a volunteer who could be with her husband in the ArtFix cafe while we ran the group.
Tatiana returned, following her recent marriage.
We started with another information piece. I revisited Playlist for Life, having just completed their on-line training. Reflections now have a variety of inexpensive equipment which can be use for Playlists – all available via Amazon and Poundland [other suppliers are good too!] I demonstrated the equipment and will be taking it to future Friendship Group sessions. We shall compile a book of group members Playlists and use them as background music to our sessions and as the basis for discussion and reminiscence sessions.
We were very pleased to hear a member had managed to attend his daughter’s wedding in the South West. His wife couldn’t make the journey and he had arranged two week’s respite. The care home had reassured him their home was suitable and “had never had a person with dementia they couldn’t handle”. The home asked him to remove his wife after one night. The home was not able to deliver what it had promised – this cause considerable avoidable stress and the need for plans to be revised at very short notice. Group members discussed the need to do as much research and planning as possible when looking for respite and permanent residential/nursing care. Care homes are businesses and their objective are not necessarily the same as yours.
Several group members told us about the good service and support from care homes they have used/are using. There are good care homes and very caring staff, you just need to find them.
We spoke about stress, feelings of guilt and difficulty in coping with issues around supporting someone with dementia. Counselling was discussed and several members recounted their own experiences. They recommended researching what was available – getting the right support at the right time is a challenge.
A member spoke about her recent decision to find a care home for her mother. She was concerned whether this was the right time to make the move and if her motives were selfish. Her decision was clearly the right one – an incident happened which confirmed that her mother was in need for round the clock support – an unfortunate incident on one hand, but one that ensured that mum was safe, before anything really serious happened.
We ended with a brief guided meditation for those who wished to participate.