Plan With Care Story
George lives at home with his partner, Margaret, in an assisted living facility. They have carers come in to help get George up, washed and dressed every morning. Following this, George spent almost all of every day sat in an armchair overlooking the park outside.
George has a scientific background and analytical mind, but is also hugely creative, particularly with music. He loves nature, the outdoors and social company in general, although his extremely poor hearing meant that conversation was often very frustrating for him. His appetite was poor, caused probably by boredom and lack of exercise.
Through mixed communication methods, George expressed his love for music, engineering, radios, children and dogs. Yet his connection to all of these things, due to his physical and cognitive health, was close to non-existent.
At The Beginning
Margaret who is living with her own poor physical health issues, was finding meeting George’s needs overwhelming, especially since the carers who booked fixed times to support George were often coming in hours late, and sometimes not at all. In particular, George needed full support to stand up and to walk with a frame, which Margaret was giving alone, resulting in her suffering from regular back pain. The flat they lived in remained cluttered from the continual move-in of two houses into their one flat, adding to George’s high risk of falls. Urgent intervention was needed to improve the quality of life for both George and Margaret.
6 Months Later
George is receiving a two month course of weekly dementia- specialist occupational therapy interventions, with the objective of creating a personalised activity plan that meets his hobbies and interests at a cognitive and physical level, that is meaningful and comfortable. A new ‘Creative Befriender’ is attending the last few of these sessions, and subsequently building upon this plan and providing one-to-one companionship for George.
As well as spending time with him in the flat, the aim is to get him going for walks downstairs and in the garden. In particular, there is a focus on joining in with group activities in the apartment complex, and ensuring he has regular access to his piano which resides in the communal lounge. The befriender is also allowing Margaret the opportunity to have some regular, much needed, worry-free time to herself.
The care agency George and Margaret were using has been swapped to another with an excellent track record of high quality, reliable staff, and consequently Margaret’s general stress levels have hugely decreased. George also now has an electronic recliner chair – a much safer way to support him into standing position for them both.
A new hearing device has meant that conversations are much easier, and George is now responding to his awareness that his days do not only include sitting and watching the world go by. With his new ‘friends’ who visit regularly and slow increase in cognitive stimulation, his appetite is improving and so is his mobility and general mood levels.