I was employed to take care of a lady who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. The lady was in the moderate stages of the disease and was unable now to do any shopping, cooking, go for walks on her own, handle her own PC and daily tasks. Her memory was failing and her language skills were degrading. The client was reverting to using her native tongue for communication which is common.
We continued to do the things with her that she always loved, sailing , flying, walks, feeding the ducks in the park, looking at photo’s familiar things to eat, massage of feet and hands and physio. Her memory was also declining and she would have difficulty recognising her family.
As time went on the client condition worsened and eventually she was double incontinent, had no speech or communication skills, recognition skills had declined, she needed to be fed and kept hydrated, medication administered, and high level personal care.
It was the family’s wishes to keep their mum at home as long as possible before going into a nursing home. We did this successfully as long as we could. Towards the end it became evident that it would now be too difficult for the client to remain in her own home and so it was with sadness that her family placed her in full nursing care.
Throughout this journey of 5 years I had maintained a good level of both eye contact and voice with the client and even though the functions had all but gone there was still a small part of this client that I felt recognised me.
I remember going to see her after about 3 weeks of her being in the nursing home and found her shuffling down a hallway holding onto a railing. The matron at the time was walking behind me, I called out to the client in the voice I always used with her and she turned and got very excited. The matron said oh my goodness she knows who you are. I approached her held her hand and spoke softly to her and she melted in my arms. Even though most all functions had gone, she had some recognition. The client passed away peacefully.
A story from a Homecaring Care Worker