Living with Dementia, with Home Instead

Very often, Home Instead are asked to support clients and their families, that are living with Dementia. It can be a challenge for all concerned, and having trusted, informed, and reliable support to help on the Dementia journey, can be invaluable.

There are over four hundred types of Dementia, for which the symptoms are varied and can be severe. Ensuring that our Care Professionals are prepared in readiness for supporting our Client’s, is of absolute importance to us at Home Instead. This drive is firmly in the foundations of our company, and Mark McGlade, our Owner/Director. Mark is actually chair of the East Devon Coastal Towns Dementia Action Alliance, formed in 2015 following years of research and of raising awareness on Mark’s part, and in partnership with other local organisations with the same aim.

This also explains Mark’s ongoing initiative to raise awareness in our local area, via free Community Talks on Dementia, and through the setting up of our newly created Dementia Aware Directory – an online list of local organisations, groups and businesses that have taking part in an awareness session, in order to offer an open and understanding experience to friends, family members, the wider community and their own business users. Mark has supported numerous medical organisations and businesses to inform their teams, most recently with the Dental Care Professionals at the Royal Devon Hospital, and across the network of centres belonging to LED Leisure. He is also set to provide tailor made workshops to the staff at Jurassic Fibre and is planning a collective Dementia Awareness workshop for the fellow ‘Hospiscare 40 Club’ business members, to raise awareness and invite donations to this worthy cause.

Many of our Client’s and their families actively seek out support from Home Instead, due to our focus on this condition and the tailor-made training put in place by the company, to assist with it – setting us apart from many other home care providers. Within three to six months of working for Home Instead, our Care Professionals are encouraged to participate on our Home Instead City & Guilds Assured Dementia Training Programme: a two-day course, which focusses on key communication skills of understanding behaviour, expression, wants and needs, engagement and of course, client safety.

The training is fully funded by Home Instead, and for Care Professional Experience Manager, Gemma, it’s one of her favourite learning opportunities, saying “The course gives a comprehensive view, and is more about a person-centred approach, rather than focussing on the Dementia itself, because everyone is different and there are so many variations of the disease.”

“The aim of the training is really to empower the Care Professional to become an expert in recognising that each person with Dementia is an individual, and to then have a quiet confidence when working with what is a really diverse group of individuals.”

There are many practical skills with regard to communication and physical movement, that can really enable a person living with Dementia. There are also some really beneficial activities that can be enjoyed as part of a therapeutic approach, such as reminiscence therapy and also just a willingness to allow a client to ‘live in the moment’ so to speak. This is an approach embraced by all of our team and involves simply allowing the person living with Dementia to just ‘be’.

Many of our Care Professionals have had some amazing interactions with Clients, who have recalled events and occasions from the past. Our Care Professional, Kelly, has done just that and recalls, “During a recent visit, Mr A spent a wonderful fifteen minutes telling me all about a cruise he had enjoyed the week before, about the sights and sounds of the places he had visited and of the food he had enjoyed. He was lively and engaged and was so pleased that I was interested. In a quiet moment apart, his lovely wife then explained that the cruise had taken place many years ago. It was really touching but it wasn’t sad, as she enjoyed the reminiscing too.”

Dementia is a journey, and at Home Instead we very much follow the mindset that our clients are ‘living with Dementia’. It doesn’t define them.

If you would like to enquire about our tailor-made support, for a family member or friend as they travel along their Dementia journey, please don’t hesitate. As the only home care provider rated as 5 Star Outstanding in all five areas of inspection by the CQC, we are confident that we can help. We can provide support in the form of companionship, to more complex needs and Live-In care options – all delivered by our highly trained team of Care Professionals.

Equally, if you would like to know more about the rewarding role of Care Professional as part of our team, call Tracy, our Recruitment Coordinator on 01395 200600, take a look at our Current Vacancies and apply in minutes, or find us on Facebook to discover why we are different.

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