In-home caregiving for clients who have been diagnosed with dementia can be a very unique experience.
A Loss of Independence
Debbie, a current Simplify Senior Living client who has dementia, lives at home with her husband. Prior to her diagnosis, Debbie was a leader in her community and the matriarch of her family. She had many friends and was a very active, talented painter. Now her life revolves solely around her husband and she depends on him for most things. She also becomes nervous and anxious when he leaves the room. The burden of being her “everything” started taking a toll on him.
When Dementia Shrinks Your World
Sadly when someone is diagnosed with dementia their world starts to shrink. Debbie’s husband explained that even their adult children have started to only call to talk to him. Oftentimes when talking to their mother, they feel like they upset or offend her. They don’t know how to react or, in turn, how she will react to what they say. When we first started working with Debbie, we knew that making a meaningful connection was very important to forming a relationship. We knew we needed to gain her trust, and that this wasn’t going to happen overnight.
Simplify Senior Living Can Help
Loretta Shacklett, founder of Simplify Senior Living is a Certified Dementia Practitioner who has received Montessori Dementia training. She has learned to listen, to look for the emotion behind the words, and to always offer reassurance and praise. By doing these things, she has slowly and carefully forged a bond with Debbie built on trust.
Just recently, her husband was able to leave the house with peace of mind and Debbie felt not only comfortable but happy to spend some time with Loretta. He knew she was not only safe but also that she was having fun. Together Loretta and Debbie like to cook, watch their favorite tv shows, and color beautiful pictures. Some days they just talk, tell stories, and laugh – everything good friends like to do together. Her smile when Loretta comes in the front door says it all.
Loretta has also been lucky to build a wonderful relationship with her husband and family members to provide understanding and support. She shares countless dementia care tips with them that have proved to be very helpful. When Simplify Senior Living works with a client, we work with the whole family to help and support their unique situation. This allows our clients and their families to have a better quality of life and more satisfying relationships with each other.