Lisa and Adrina
“It takes time and getting to know a person to learn how to help reduce their anxiety and agitation. I like to sit with Adrina in her room and help her go through her memory box – it’s filled with things that are important to her like a silk scarf, a house key, and a picture of her grandchildren. Usually something makes a connection and I love to see her eyes shine. But some days, most days, I don’t have time.”
Lisa is a personal support worker in Belleville. She works with Adrina and wants to devote more attention to her care, but is often too tight for time, making sure everyone has used the bathroom and is dressed before breakfast.
“On the day shift, two of us start at 6 a.m. to get everyone up. By the time we get everyone ready, some of the first residents we care for end up waiting for an hour before we can actually bring them to the dining room.
In the evenings, our residents with dementia often have more pronounced symptoms. I often see more anxiety. One resident will say ‘I need to go’ and moments later will ask me where she needs to go. Another resident often asks if her parents know where she is. Some get fearful, and that leads to agitation.
Spending time with someone can help reduce this anxiety, but we often get caught up after dinner and can’t spend the time we want to with them.”