Henry’s Story

Time for care

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Henry’s story

Nayland Care’s dementia home care case study begins with Henry’s* story. We began providing Henry with our home care services in August 2019. Sadly, he had a stroke the previous year, which had left him with difficulties with his speech. Before his stroke, he was fit and active, driving his car to do his weekly shop even though he had been diagnosed with dementia in 2017.

At first, our home care team would visit once a day to prompt him with personal care, supervise medication, and to ensure that he was eating well and having a hot meal. In the beginning, it was clear that he did not want our help, since being very independent, he thought he was able to manage well by himself. The presence of our carers in his home made him feel very anxious and he refused our help on a daily basis, even though we were there to support him to live well at home. With tact and care though, we were able to encourage him to take his medication. Over time, he would even allow our care team to apply cream to his legs. On occasion though, he would still not accept any help with personal care and insist that he was able to do this himself. We were concerned for his welfare, even though he was managing to prepare his own meals and fluids each day.

We had regular contact with social workers, his doctor, and his family over our concerns that he was not allowing us to support him and we were also concerned that our presence was causing him distress by making him anxious with every visit. Through detailed discussions though, it was agreed that our visits were an important welfare check and it was in his best interests for us to continue to visit him daily to see that he was well and to prompt his medication.

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At one point, he started refusing to take his medication at the morning visit because he was insisting that he must take his medication after his lunch. To ease the situation, we adjusted our call times to allow for this. However, this was unsuccessful and after consulting with his doctor, it was decided that we would add an evening visit to ensure that the medication was taken. Once this was in place and he knew and accepted that he needed support, he routinely took his medication.

With perseverance and two visits a day, Henry started to let his carers make him a cup of tea, prepare breakfast, and apply cream to his legs, which was great progress. Though there were still times when he would ask the carers to leave or not let them into his home, and so it was quite challenging. When he was having a good day however, he would enjoy time with our carers – being quite strong and active still, he would joke as he showed them his exercise moves.

Sadly though, he had a set-back when he experienced another stroke and paramedics attended his home. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic being in full force, his family decided that they didn’t want him to go to the hospital and there were no beds available at the local care homes. Unfortunately, the stroke left him unable to look after himself in the same way as he was doing since he was having trouble standing and supporting his body weight. Naturally, his family was concerned about his care and how they would manage.

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We reassured the family straight away that we would be able to put emergency measures in place and we contacted Adult and Community Services to request care to be increased to four times a day. While providing this care, it was clear that he was going to need to double-up care, which we were not able to provide at that exact time (due to Covid-19). The family wanted us to carry on providing care for him though and we were keen to find a solution. After discussions with the family, we gained permission from Adult Community Services, for his family to be a second carer. Since Henry is unable to weight bear and personal care would be provided on his bed, a family member would assist his carer.

Although it is not without resistance and the odd outburst of frustration, it is very nice to be able to say that he is now allowing our carers to attend to his personal care needs daily.

To sum up our dementia home care case study, Henry’s family has said they are very impressed with the way our carers have been patient and shown perseverance each and every day, staying calm while providing his care.