Caring for a client with dementia often involves a series of steps that can be broken down into what we have categorized as “The Three E”s”. To better understand and connect with your client, you must first empower, then encourage, and finally engage with them. Building trust can take time but with the proper tools, it can be done in a way that will inspire and provide more meaningful days for both you and your client.
In memory of our friend, Ruth
About four years ago, my friend Ruth, one of True Care's True Bridge clients, started a knitting circle with three of her friends and their caregivers once a week in her apartment in Battery Park. Over the years, Ruth hosted the knitting circle and served snacks and drinks as the ladies knit for about 45 minutes. It was good company, with good music. The knitting circle became a social time for the ladies and a way for Ruth to showcase her strengths and share them with her friends. Ruth lived with Alzheimer’s Disease for about six years, and even though her cognitive memory was fading, her muscle and motor memory continued to flourish.
While physically distancing from loved ones can be challenging, people are finding ways to remain socially connected even while being apart. Animals and their impact on our lives offer a variety of therapeutic value, improving our health and happiness and play a significant role in creating caring environments. Those of us who own pets or have lived with animals know they bring us so much joy and unconditional love. Animals make us laugh and smile in addition to providing comfort when we are sick or upset.
"Happiness! That is the secret ingredient." Those are the words of Betty*, who has been baking homemade apple pies for over 60 years.
Baking is a newly revived passion for Betty and her caregiver Michelle. Being in the kitchen connects their mutual passions, creates a positive environment, and awakens the senses.
When working with a client or loved one living with memory loss, do you often hear the word “No” more than “Yes”? It can cause distress when you hope to engage or motivate someone but not get the response you expected, or get no response at all.
Open-ended questions can work well when establishing a dialogue. However, you can rephrase your questions and allow your client to express themselves best by providing a controlled choice . By doing this, you provide them the opportunity to make their own choices, which promotes their independence as well as providing the quality care they need.