An example of this, is when an individual came into St. Mary’s from hospital. The first week I sat down with the individual to create their care plan. The individual was extremely shocked at how much involvement they were entitled to regarding their own care. This included that they could choose the time they would like their breakfast, what they would like for breakfast – we would buy them specific items if they wanted them such as granola etc, they could choose when they had assistance with their personal care, what day they had their laundry washed, etc. When the individual was in hospital they were given no choice regarding their personal care including the fact that they were “encouraged” to wear a hospital gown for easy accessibility for procedures and treatments.
When thinking of patients with dementia, whom are unaware of their surroundings and needs, the hospital environment can be even more daunting, therefore this is why active participation is critical to ensure that an individual is receiving person-centred care. An advocate must be assigned to a patient whom has dementia.
Within my workplace we have numerous individuals who have dementia. One individual who has Alzheimer’s, has always been very independent throughout her life, when she came to the home her children said that she was very reluctant to move into a nursing home as she felt she is giving up. We wanted her to feel that this wasn’t the case, so we sat with the individual and her relatives to create a very detailed and intricate care plan which outlines her specific needs and requests. For example, the individual likes to remain in her bed with a newspaper until late morning. She does not like to be woken with her breakfast or medication early, so the staff ensure to give her these after 9am. After a few months of being in the home the individual missed being able to mobilise outside of the home but due to her deteriorating mobility this was not viable for her. We provided the individual with a motorized buggy to allow her the freedom of leaving the home and going around the park when she felt like doing so. Due to her short-term memory impairment, working in partnership with an occupational therapist team, and the individual’s relatives, we created ways in which to safeguard the individual, providing an SOS tracker which calls her family if there was ever an emergency and she were on her own in the park. We have also given her the full address and telephone number for the home to keep with her at all times while out of the home incase she gets lost. Therefore, this practice was person-centred and providing equal opportunities. Despite having a mental impairment, we found a way to provide the individual with the care that she required, to allow her to feel independent and to boost her self-esteem.