Dementia Action Week at Langfield
As a part of the Alzheimer’s Society’s, Dementia Action Week, Jade Casson, Activities Coordinator at Langfield Care Home stepped into the shoes of one of their residents and lived a day someone living with dementia.
Jade wanted to try and help “understand truly how it feels on a daily basis for those living at Langfield.”
Jade wore a swimsuit underneath her clothes, had no use of her legs and limited use of her arms, she wasn’t able to verbally communicate and was blindfolded. Throughout the day, Jade was hoisted to and from her wheelchair, showered and fed exactly how the residents of the home would be and a the end of the day, she reported back her findings.
To begin the day, jade was hoisted from a wheelchair it an armchair.
“When I was lifted into the air I felt quite paranoid thinking everyone was looking at me and scared at the same time and could not tell anybody as I could not communicate verbally.”
Throughout the day, Jade was fed and staff assisted her in drinking, even something as simple as this, Jade reported as being quite difficult and eye-opening.
“The staff gave me drinks and assisted me to drink holding the cup to my mouth or using a straw this was difficult to do because I couldn’t say when my mouth was already full and felt the drink was going to spill from my mouth.”
“I was given spoonful’s of soup which was awkward and I spilt the soup down myself which made me feel useless.”
Perhaps the hardest part of the day for Jade was the shower. Staff assisted Jade in getting undressed and assisted to bathe her as they would a resident.
“I felt so undignified and I couldn’t tell them. The staff began to wash me and I was really embarrassed and conscious of myself. I was scared that the water may have been too hot or cold and knew I had no control.”
Jade found the whole experience to be both incredibly informative, and incredibly emotional. She expressed that the home and the staff could not have done anything more to aid and support her through the day and that any negative feelings were not due to the home or the staff.
“We can’t fix people and we can’t control emotions but what we have to do is show empathy to try and understand how our actions impact on the holistic wellbeing of an individual. “ explained Vicky White, Care Home Manager at Langfield Court.
“I am extremely proud of the care at Langfield and really do believe that this experience will now empower staff with the empathy needed to deliver the most outstanding care”, continued Vicky.
This experience will surely prove to be vital for the staff at Langfield and help to further understand Dementia, in order to provide the best possible care.
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