A bit about our Client:
Sarah (not her real name), has a diagnosis of dementia and we have been providing her with live in care since We have currently been providing live in care for Sarah for almost two years. When we started providing live in care at the end of 2017, she lived with her husband who was seriously ill. At this time the family had a private housekeeper who was also employed to care for Sarah but she did not seem to fully engage with her. Sarah saw herself as young and modern and liked to be out a lot and engage in activities and became agitated if she was not involved in an activity.
What we do:
We provide live in care, with one main Carer, initially five days a week but now seven days a week. When we started providing care Sarah's family said that she would get on best with a younger, lively Carer who would take her out for example, to shopping centres and would engage with her in activities such as baking, gardening, jewellery making and involve her in food preparation. We thought carefully about the kind of Carer that would be very likely to get on well with Sarah and we introduced the family to Melissa (not her real name).
Sarah's mobility and dementia have deteriorated in more recent months and she now uses a rota stand and a wheelchair. Melissa has found that Sarah enjoys watching Disney films and they both join in the singing. Sarah has always taken a pride in her appearance and she enjoys having her hair and make-up done by Melissa.
The family are Jewish and keep a kosher kitchen. Melissa rapidly learned what this involved and is highly respectful of the family's faith.
Linda, our Field Care Manager visits Sarah and Melissa regularly. She says that Melissa is like a member of the family and the outstanding support and companionship that she provides to Sarah and her calm disposition enables the whole family to gain greater peace of mind. Sarah is also very calm in Melissa's presence. Melissa provides personal care and companionship to Sarah and also runs the household.
When Ruth first visited the family, his daughter said that the family wished for Sarah's husband to be able to be allowed to be a patient and to be able to concentrate on his treatment, rather than worrying continually about his wife, having to keep her occupied and finding ways of preventing her from becoming agitated.
Sarah has formed a close relationship with Melissa. Although she now does not recognise everyone in her family she always knows when Melissa is in the room and frequently says "Where are you Melissa?" as she no longer tends to make eye contact with people. Melissa's presence and care for Sarah and the way in which she is able to engage her in activities that she can enjoy, despite her deterioration in health has also provided 'a rock for the whole family.'
When Melissa has weekends off work and is on leave, another suitable Carer is provided who has spent time shadowing Sarah and Melissa so that she can get to know Sarah and how best to care for her.
In Nov 2018 Sarah's husband said
"Melissa has to be the number one Carer as her level of attention could not be equalled, let alone by surpassed by anyone. She anticipates Sarah's every need, she is infinitely patient, and she is an absolute delight to have in the household which she runs with a maturity well beyond her years."
Sarah's husband has now very sadly passed away and towards the end of his life he said that he knew that he was leaving his wife in safe hands.