Meet Suzanne!

Following on from Dementia Action Week last week, we wanted to highlight some of our Care Professionals who have undergone Dementia training here at Home Instead Warrington.

Suzanne is our first Care Pro blog and has been with us here at Home Instead Warrington for two years this year. Suzanne is great at what she does and does an amazing job at demonstrating the qualities needed for caring for someone with dementia.

With the training you’ve done and the work that you do you have done a great job at putting it into practice in the workplace. Was there anything about your training that stood out to you as interesting or something you didn’t know?

I found the dementia training very insightful giving me a greater knowledge and awareness which has been beneficial in my role. What I found particularly interesting was watching a video, a clip showing what life looks like through the eyes of someone with dementia and how unsettling and upsetting it can be for them. Not recognising at times who those closest to you are, or not recognising your surroundings and feeling safe where you are can be quite frightening.
Before the training, I wasn’t aware that dementia is not a disease, but rather the culmination of lots of other diseases. I naively thought it was just older people that got diagnosed with dementia, however, after doing the training I realised this not to be true. Dementia can affect a range of demographics some more likely than others; dementia does not discriminate.

What skill do you think is essential when working with people with dementia?

Communication is key when working with clients with dementia. Having strong communication skills not only benefits you as a care giver but also benefits the client. Being able to effectively communicate with the client can ensure you avoid conflicts or any anxieties. Clients with dementia may be struggling to communicate for themselves so being able to use your skills to help them communicate is invaluable.

Are there any techniques you find particularly beneficial to support people with dementia? 

Being patient, actively listening, and distraction are all techniques I find work well when caring for clients with dementia.
Remembering that the person you are caring for is still there and not defined by the dementia umbrella. Taking time to get to know the client is crucial, involving them in their care as much as possible helps to make them feel included, and no-one knows them better than themselves.

Sometimes situations can become difficult or stressful for the client when carrying out tasks, the client maybe frustrated or resistant to any help. At times like this I’ve found remaining calm, and using distraction techniques can help to shift the attention of the person and can help them to focus better allowing them to feel less stressed and interacting more willingly.

What is it that you enjoy about your role?

My role as a care professional is knowing I can help to make somebody’s life happier and fulfilled. Getting to know my clients and building valuable relationships with them is such an enjoyable part of my role.

Supporting clients to continue living in their own homes and remaining as independent as possible makes me feel like I am making a positive difference in their life.

Each day in my role as a care professional is varied, can be challenging on occasion but ultimately is extremely rewarding.