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Going The Distance

Observing social distancing whilst maintaining a sense of normal life during the current pandemic is a challenge for all of our staff, and particularly those who care for residents in our memory care suites.

Due to memory problems and other cognitive difficulties, it is almost impossible for residents living with dementia to process and understand the current changes in daily routines and activities, and why our staff are having to wear masks, visors and other forms of PPE. Thankfully, most residents living with dementia are curious rather than alarmed!

Some residents are unable to remain in their rooms socially isolating due to the level of distress that this causes. In such instances, our staff are using different ways to adapt communal spaces in the home by creating seating areas where residents can come together to listen to music or watch television, whilst still maintaining distance.

A part of Avery’s ReConnect® approach to supporting residents living with dementia involves the use of Life Story work to understand the person that dementia can disguise. In these exceptional times, Life Story work has enabled our teams to find new and creative ways of working safely with residents, by providing opportunities for meaningful engagement based on previous experiences, interests and hobbies.

Some residents with dementia are finding satisfaction and a renewed sense of purpose by spending time alongside the staff as they work in the home. Wearing the appropriate PPE, we support the residents to get involved with housekeeping and gardening, keeping our homes spick and span!

Our staff continue to go the distance in supporting our residents, keeping them safe and well and engaged in as active and enjoyable life as possible. Apart, but together.

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Article by Jo Crossland, Head of Dementia Care

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