Wednesday 11 April 2012

K is for Knowledge

What do they really know about dementia?...., The carers are becoming the professionals dealing not only with the emotional aspects but the physical, and psychological day in and out of the role, their knowledge and understanding increases, but they don't have the space to share...

I have come across many service providers whose work impacts on the elderly and carers that haven’t had any training in dementia care.  In my own role I have had to learn to interpret my mothers every action from why she is doing something that seems irrational to what she could possibly be trying to communicate, on top of ensuring she has a good quality of life. This has taken time, a lot of reflection and asking myself how would I feel if it were me in her position..!.

More and more organisations are consulting with carers getting them to share their experience with health care professionals.  I am currently involved in delivering workshops to students who are training to be social workers and helping them to not only understand but relate to the role of the carer - I have been able to develop a series of talks using creative activities. I think that it is vital for the carer as well as those who have to interact with them to have a basis for understanding just how complex the role can be, and ensure that there are opportunities for sharing experiences and increased dialogue that can only bring about positive change.

Words so far....

A is for Alzheimer’s, B is for Behaviour, C is for Carer, D is for Dependant, E is for Enough, F is for Fear, G is for Guilt, H is for Health Professionals, I is forIdentity, J is for Judgement

These posts are part of the A-Z Challenge taking place during the month of April.  I have been sharing about my experience as a carer to a mother with Dementia.  If you would like to know more join the Arts in Health Network and also check out my website for information on some of the work I have done with Creativity and Dementia.


  1. As my generation of Baby-Boomers moves into that age where Alzheimer's seems to sprout, the need for competent care-givers will explode. I appreciate how involved you are in preparing such generous and caring people.

  2. It sounds like you're using your own experience to ease the way for others. Good on you.

  3. great info.
    my mom is elderly, and fortunately for her she is on top of her game, very coherent, and alert... yet, i do watch her, and like you said about your mom, and wonder how i would react to certain things when i age...

  4. Susan, We are really moving into new times, with the next generation relating to our elderly in different ways.

    Susan, passing on our knowledge and experience seems to be the only way forward.

    Danne, I am glad that your mum is active, what seems to keep us going is a good social support network.

  5. I admire that you're providing such an important service. Alzheimers is such a horrible disease, and it's wonderful that you're providing workshops for devoted caregivers. Julie

  6. Bravo for providing such invaluable knowledge to the carers. I'm sure it will help countless people down the line! :)

  7. The mind is such a complex thing. What a shame and yet what an opportunity to minister to those who are no longer what they were.

  8. Julie, its great to be able to share what I have learnt.

    Catherine, in turn we can all help those who are providing the services.

    Gregg, I definitely agree, its amazing to hear what my mum does come out with, sometimes it is a word that you needed to hear.

  9. My father passed from Alzheimers in 2007 so I am very familiar with this topic. I am sure many will benefit from your posts. Bless your heart.

  10. I imagine that every day is a learning experience for you and that it is important for those who are caring for loved ones to know as much as they can about their illness.

  11. Hi, God bless you, my dear. My sweetie pie hubby passed away nearly two years ago. He was in mid-stages of dementia when he passed on. I learned a lot about dealing with it, and used humor to do so. I just agreed with him when I could and reasoned when I could not. Answering the same questions over and over became a daily event. He was a gentle soul and I miss him dearly. The stories I could tell would fill quite a bit of space. Best wishes to you. Ruby

  12. Wow... I can't even begin to imagine how hard it must be to care for an elderly person on a daily basis. Very good of you to post your experiences, many others, I'm sure, will find faith and support. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  13. Reading your posts gave me goosebumps! You are doing a noble job guiding carers and sharing your personal experiences and knowledge with all of us.
    I beleive a lot of it makes sense for carers for bad accident patients also.
    And I loved the concept of bringing in a lot of interesting creativity into a job that sounds tedious!

    Wish you many many fun moments and experiences with ur mom.

  14. Amanda what a blessing you are. The information you have and are sharing. It is so over whelming. I work as a hair dresser for the seniors in a assisted living home and go into Adult Foster care homes. Oh the care and love that goes into each one. So much unknown and so much to still learn on so many levels. I am honored to care for their beauty needs. Great need for many proffessionals to help in this growing area of need as the baby boomers come of age.

  15. Joy, It definitely is a continual learning curve.

    Ruby, sorry to hear about your husband. Humour really does help and I am blessed that mum has large helpings.

    Effervescencia, there are good and bad days I hope that others gain the confidence to talk about their experiences.

    DJ, its a pleasure to be able to have the space to share, creativity is so essential to all our lives.

    Elizabeth, thank you, I think that is what it takes for us all to try and make an impact in their lives, and also show the younger generation what they can do as well.

  16. Hi Amanda .. I'm sure you'll have so much to offer in due course with your art, and your understanding of the process you're going through with your mother ..

    With thoughts - Hilary

  17. Hilary, its funny how things turn out being able to apply what you learn and share the process has been really informative.


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