When Elizabeth first started working with her client Mrs S, she had been under the care of an hourly provider and had been receiving three visits a day. This had left Mrs S on her own for much of the day which wasn’t meeting her care needs. So, Mrs S transitioned to The Good Care Group. To gain a better understanding of her client’s needs Elizabeth liaised with Mrs S’s Power of Attorney, her niece and nephew, who provided a wealth of information about her new client.
Elizabeth, like all our professional carers, likes to build a picture of their client, of the activities they used to enjoy, the life they lived, the music they listened to and their fond memories. All this information helps our Professional Carers build a relationship with their client.
Mrs S has advanced dementia, so Elizabeth used her knowledge to communicate with her in a non-verbal way. Mrs S used to play the piano and had a book of her favourite manuscripts. Elizabeth used this to create a playlist of these songs for Mrs S to listen to. Elizabeth also purchased an Amazon Echo, with the agreement of Mrs S’s family, to listen to these tunes and also make video calls. Keeping her connected with her family and friends.
Elizabeth also supported Mrs S to her daycare centre visits. Here, she discovered that Mrs S liked to paint with watercolours. So, Elizabeth started painting with Mrs S, as well as providing other stimulating activities, like picture books.
Having taken the time to understand Mrs S’s emotional needs and personal preferences, enabled Elizabeth to provide a truly individualised care plan. Elizabeth explained how she learnt to let Mrs S engage with her first;
“Mrs S is quite used to being in her own company so I try to wait for her to come and engage with me, rather than deciding what time we are going to do activities. This way she is much happier to try new things. However, her attention span is short and her memories of how to do these things are fading, so I make suggestions or tell her what I am up to so that she doesn’t get anxious and can copy me without feeling pressured into remembering.”
These small acts of kindness and taking the time to really know their client are everyday actions for our Professional carers. Whether this is taking the time to find out their music preferences, background life or hobbies, the care plans provided for our clients are not just about the physical care they require. Our Professional Carers support not only their clients physical needs but also their mental and emotional well-being, to ensure they make a client’s life enjoyable and meaningful.