Dementia – A Personal Account

During my second year in university i worked part time as a care assistant in my local community.

The people i cared for lived in their home home, many were able but others required more care. During my time as a care assistant i would care for many clients with dementia. Commonly i was required to do ‘sits’ where i would sit with the elderly clients in their house giving the family time to go elsewhere. These sits could last anywhere from 1 hour up to six hours.

On different occasions i would hear the client repeat the same story numerous time and repeatedly asked who i was, even shortly after introducing myself. At other times i would have to supply reassurance as the client would express feelings of loneliness. Often i experienced clients sharing stories of past years; years front their childhood and even looking for items from their childhood, still believing that that time was the present. Some clients would look for certain items but a short time later have no recollection of what they were looking for.

Secondly my own Granada suffers from some degree of dementia, which kind i am not sure. He currently lives in a nursing home. When he used to live at home i would stay some night to provide care and give my grandma peace of mind.  Granda constantly reminisce about the past but sometimes he confused reality and the past, he would express great amounts of confusion, which would turn to agitation if i tired to explain the circumstances to him. I finally learnt to distract him and not to try to explain the current scenario. If i haven’t seen my Granada in a long period of time it is likely that he won’t know who i am.

I have learnt through my own encounters with dementia that it comes with a great deal of trials and obstacles, some of which include

loneliness

peoples perceptions towards dementia, “they are just being ‘dim’ today”

complete confusion and inability to relate to the current situation.

becoming a hazard to themselves- leaving switches on and forgetting to lock doors.

depression from losing their independence.

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