An example of how a person living with dementia has used a one-page profile to communicate with support staff about how best to support him. Sidney was feeling embarrassed and sometimes threatened by the support he received. This story shows how his team captured and shared important information about Sidney to ensure he was supported in a way that made sense to him.
Written by Support Worker Team Leader
Sidney, also known as Slim, is a very gentle man with a lovely voice. Originally from Jamaica, music has always been central to his life as long as it is upbeat. Now 83 years of age Sidney lives in Nuneaton in a residential service supporting people living with dementia
Sidney’s one-page profile was developed as he was becoming more distressed when being supported by staff with his personal care. Staff realised Sidney was distressed by the level of care he now needed due to decline in his cognitive responses. Staff discussed with me and we used effective ideas to assist him so it was less stressful for him.
Sidney had become reluctant to get out of bed during the winter months. This is when he may become agitated and he may threaten staff. As we have cared for Sidney for many years, staff have experience, and understand his needs. We have used person-centred care and put into place a personalised care plan for Sidney, which caters for his needs and his likes, like having a radio in his room, have his clean clothes ready laid out ready for him to put on after his care.Staff who knew Sidney well had learned that everything must be warm when assisting him with his personal care. This included the room, your hands, towels, water, floor and creams. This made Sidney’s experience during personal care less distressing and it was this type of information that needed to be captured on a one-page profile so that others were able to support Sidney in the way that he liked.
I am a Team Leader where Sidney lives. I sat down with Gill from Helen Sanderson Associates, Sidney and three of the specialist support workers Peter, Lauren and Jackie, to produce the profile.
Since its production, all staff are using Sidney’s one-page profile to ensure they know and act on what matters to him on a daily basis. It means that Sidney is supported in a way that truly makes sense to him and so is happier accepting the support. It is the rich information on Sidney’s profile which ensures this. Because of his profile all team members now know that Sidney feels embarrassed when supported in the bathroom. They also know that playing music helps him to feel relaxed and that by preparing everything before entering the bathroom, the experience can be much quicker and Sidney feels happier as a result.
Previously if Sidney became upset a support worker might call for more staff to assist – having two or three people trying to assist him only made Sidney more distressed as it increased his fear. Today, everyone knows this and knows how to ensure Sidney is supported well.
Since having his own one-page profile Sidney is much more likely to take help from staff and even thanks them for the support they offer him. He is much happier and is singing more than ever!