The Difference is in the Details
As a first step towards acceptance of the changes in my husband [after his diagnosis] I made a phone call to the Alzheimer’s Society of Calgary to sign up for a course. After explaining my intent, and before anything else was said, the person on the other end of the phone asked, “How are you doing?” So unexpected, so sincere, so compassionate, so moving. We chatted for a long time.
The Difference is in the Details
Sponsored article by Qualicare Family Homecare
The following stories show how, by simply taking the time to understand the personal interests and preferences of a person with dementia, we can greatly improve their care and quality of life.
When we think about the many moving parts involved in introducing a caregiver to a client with dementia, it’s often the small details that make a big difference. One story in particular stands out: As care began for our client, some days were great and some were not. On a good day, our client would go for leisurely walks with our caregiver and her dog, enjoying the fresh air as they explored their way through the park. Other days, our client would become upset if our caregiver tried to walk beside her. As it turned out, any caregiver above the height of 5”4 was a trigger to our little lady. They say “knowing is half the battle.” Well for us, knowing this small but significant factor meant everything in achieving a successful connection between client and caregiver.
The Cat is the Key
Sometimes hoping a “difficult” person or situation will change isn’t enough. When we were first introduced to our client, we heard stories of struggle, and the family was always to blame. The “behaviors” of our client had resulted in many companies withdrawing care, and as you can image, one can become labeled as the “difficult client”. Considering the fact that the client had a mental health history along with symptoms of dementia, we stepped back to analyze what might be the missing piece to successfully engage our caregivers with her. As we spent time with her, we realized that she loved her cat. When nurses or caregivers spoke first to the cat, this seemed to diffuse the tension that our client had towards the staff. Including the cat in the interactions somehow set up a space of security and “calm” for our client. The rest is history. We have been able to care for the medical as well as cognitive needs of this amazing lady, while holding onto a very valuable lesson: seeking a solution often is about us choosing to change as oppose to hoping the situation will improve.
The Simplicity of Flowers
There once was a lovely lady with an amazing green thumb. She worked hard for the home she resided in. She took great pride in creating a masterpiece of color in her garden. As her Alzheimer’s disease began to progress, it seemed inevitable that a transition into a facility was the next step…. until we joined the story. Knowing your options is one of the greatest gifts you can have during times of crisis and grief. Her family wanted so badly to give their mom the gift of living in the home she loved. The reassurance of consistent and qualified care only served as the foundation of what was to come. The lady with the green thumb planted flowers every day into the spring and summer. The caregiver removed the flowers every evening so that every morning, a sparkle of delight came to our lady who was eager to start her “day of planting”. These small gifts become significant in the lives of our clients when they are able to live out their passions.
For information on how Qualicare Family Homecare can help your loved ones remain in their home, please visit www.homecarecalgary.com or call 403.202.5265.
Qualicare is dedicated to providing simple homecare services that give loved ones and their family the tools they need to navigate the healthcare system. Call today!