Here’s a blog from one of our new carers, Karen Murray. In it Karen writes about her time at our Centre of Excellence, as well as her first few days with her customer – a lady in Halifax with dementia.
When we arrived we were greeted by a friendly member of staff. This friendly and approachable manner instantly dispelled any fears we had. We all settled into our accommodation nicely and introduced ourselves to each other. The atmosphere was fantastic. Monday, we were introduced to the recruitment team. The first training day was long and hard work but well worth it and the structure of the day was well thought of and planned. Mrs Smith was played excellently. It was very much enjoyed by all seeing first hand a potential customer and how the correct approach should be used. We were enthralled on the Wednesday’s dementia training given by Jayne Vale. On the Thursday we were invited to wind down the week by relaxing over a meal at The Turks Head, this was enjoyed by all attending. The last day was sad in the fact it would be the last time we were to be as a group. On leaving we presented the staff with a box of chocolates each, a card signed by all, two bottles of wine, a jar of coffee for the office, a euro millions ticket (didn’t win) and a poem I had written earlier that week. We all said our goodbyes and returned home.
Two weeks later I received an urgent phone call to head towards Halifax, I packed up quickly and left to go south. I arrived and was introduced to my customer. My customer has Alzheimer’s which varies daily. Within two days of arriving I requested a dry wipe board “memory board”. This settled my customer and she always uses this board as a point of reference. Also I put my name on it saying I was in the house, this calmed her anxiety about being alone.
Her diet was not very good too and as I ate with her, she observed me eating and therefore gained courage to start eating more. I started to include varieties into her meals and within a week her appetite had increased and diet was much better. We’ve had a lot of funny moments together, when she needs me during the night she laughs at seeing my night attire. We’ve settled into a great routine and we have a great relationship. Due to her condition she forgets I’m her new carer, I decided not to disillusion her in order to make her feel safe and secure (she thinks I’ve been there for years).