6th July 2016
Familiarity is extremely important for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s; it’s why they are often better off living in familiar surroundings for as long as possible. It’s also why we try and provide as much continuity of care as possible.
We always try and provide as much continuity of care as possible for all our clients, so that ourexpert homecarers can really get to know our clients, their history, their likes and dislikes and the things that are important to them. But we make it even more of a priority for the people we help support to live in their own home who have dementia or Alzheimer’s.
As the memory become more fragmented, life can become increasingly confusing for someone with dementia. Familiar faces and familiar routines can help provide secure ground where they feel calmer and more confident. It also helps our staff to provide more effective bespoke care, if they can really get to know the people they are working with.
Just occasionally, a client’s needs for continuity are more severe than most. This happened when we took on a new client in one of the villages outside of Tunbridge Wells; among his other specific needs, he had refused to wash for weeks. When our Director of Care, Julia Mead, was performing his initial care assessment, she realised he needed a bath straight away, so did it as part of the assessment. Although he had refused to wash for anyone else, he agreed to do it for Julia – we think because she had a clipboard in her hand!
Having agreed to a bath for Julia once, he accepted it as part of his care package whenever she visited – but not from anyone else! So we juggled our rotas so that Julia was available for this client, so that he would get the care we had agreed to provide for him.
Flexibility is a key part of the success of our care packages – if we can juggle to make a solution work, we will.