The following was originally posted on the Inspired Memory Care, Inc. blog by co-owners, Kelly Gilligan and Nettie Harper, in their article on "Supportive Gifting Opportunities that Last Beyond the Holidays for Care-Partners and Persons Living with Dementia".
The holidays present a unique time for reaching out to family and friends in a thoughtful and meaningful way. If you have a family member or friend partnering with a loved one living with dementia, supportive gifting can bring success and stress-relief well into the New Year.
A strong caregiver-client relationship can be a difficult thing to achieve. There are many aspects of this unique relationship to consider when first introducing yourself to a new client. The following steps can help when establishing a sound connection with your client:
- Practice honesty, respect and compassion: Being open and honest with your client is an important part of being a good caregiver. Likewise, when you respect your client, they will be more inclined to show respect in return. They will also be more receptive when you show genuine concern for their well-being in the form of compassion.
A home visit from a nurse is a valuable tool that can be used to determine the health and wellness of an individual. The visit can also predict future problems and help stop them before they occur. During a home visit, I will look at the overall cleanliness of the home. This is important because it demonstrates if the patient is being well cared for and if she can care for herself. When visiting clients in their homes you can never be sure of what you are going to learn about them.
A bedsore is a wound that is caused by sustained pressure. Pressure damages the skin when you stay in any one position for a long period of time. Reduced blood circulation to this area of the skin can cause the skin cells to “die” and eventually cause a sore.
Any person who stays in one position for a prolonged period of time either sitting, lying or standing is at risk of developing bedsores. A person who is bed-bound, or even a mobile person who doesn’t spend a lot of time in bed, can develop bedsore if they remain in one position for too long.
I was on my way to work when the driver overheard my phone conversation. After hearing I was a nurse who works with the geriatric population and specifically clients with dementia, he opened up about his particular situation as the sole caregiver for his mother who has dementia. I could hear frustration, fear, and weariness in his voice. He felt guilty about leaving her home alone and worried that she still insisted on driving even though he didn’t think it was safe. He also had several questions about the medications she was taking. He just needed someone to listen.