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Work experience initiative for people with dementia helps them ‘connect with themselves’

Author: Nathan | Posted: 7th December 2016 | Category: General News, Uncategorized


Feeling frustrated, helpless and unsure of themselves, a person in the mid to late stages of dementia may gradually choose to withdraw from everyday situations, but at Eachstep care home, in Blackburn, residents are encouraged to utilise their skills and are offered paid employment opportunities to engage their interests.

EachStep resident Arthur, who is 75-years-old and has a diagnosis of dementia, was as an engineer throughout his working life.

Ordinarily he enjoys traditional activities such as music, dancing and spending time with his family and friends, but he is also able to reconnect with the skills that he spent many years perfecting through paid DIY and gardening work.

“It is important to bring people’s life history into how you support them,” said Phil Benson, manager of EachStep Blackburn. “Arthur values using his skills to help the maintenance team.

“His confidence has grown over the weeks and he is able to help Paul, our facilities officer, to carry out the various DIY tasks that need completing on a weekly basis, such as checking the temperatures of the care home’s water outlets and maintaining the gardens.”

’Sense of purpose’

According to the College of Occupational Therapists, care homes must ensure that residents with a diagnosis of dementia are given continuous opportunities to learn, make choices and share experiences.

Similarly, in its Quality Standards on the Mental Wellbeing of Older People in Care Homes, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) states that older people in care homes should be enabled to maintain and develop their personal identity through a range of stimulating activities, in this case it is work experience.

If you’re looking for flexible work as a healthcare professional, or to hire care staff contact Educare here.


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