Interview with our CAREGiver - Caren

This week in line with Dementia Action Week, we sat down with our Lovely CAREGiver Caren.

Caren has been working for us since 2016 and is an experienced and valued member of our team here at Home Instead Southend. We asked Caren a few questions around supporting a client living with Dementia, the impact she feels a CAREGiver can make to the life of an older person and why she enjoys her role as a CAREGiver…

How do you adapt care for someone living with dementia?

"Clients with dementia need support, it is important that you adapt to the ways in which they are happy with.

Clients living with dementia may feel anxious about not remembering certain things, I try to make it a bit easier for them, label cupboards, prompt them to do things they would usually do on certain days or do these things for them if they can no longer manage it on their own.

It is important that the client is able to maintain as much as they are able to themselves, I am always on hand if they need help, so we can do these things together. Whether it is personal care, dressing, cooking etc.

It is usual to sometimes be met with refusal or resistance from a client from time to time, I always find some way of encouragement and reasoning just by talking to the client and meeting a mutual agreement.  If a mutual agreement cannot be met then I will go away do a few jobs within their home and then go back and try again, it usually works."

What has been your hardest moment?

"There have been many hard moments throughout my time at Home Instead. Every day with some clients can be a challenge, but once you have built up a good trust, the challenges usually become less. It is never nice when a client passes away - that is always hard."

What has been your proudest moment?

"Any time can be a proud moment, when a new client is unkempt and has refused care from others, even other care companies and they allow you to care for them.  Even if it is a small thing like making them a drink to giving them a full wash, that’s when you know they have a trust in you, that for me makes me feel proud to do the job I’m doing and they’ve ‘let me in’, it helps us to move further forward."

What advice would you give to a new CAREGiver or someone facing a family members diagnosis of Dementia?
"I would advise families and CAREGiver's to not give up, be patient, keep talking, reminders from their past are always a good starting  point to strike up a good conversation, even photographs - little steps - you will get there in the end !"

The best thing about being a CAREGiver with Home Instead?
"The best thing about being a caregiver for Home Instead Southend is undoubtedly the clients, the stories of their past, the history, the full lives well lived - nothing can beat that !"

"Oh …. and the office staff are ok too !"
Dementia Action Week