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Past lives

Mrs Evans was constantly measuring with an imaginary tape measure. "Good day” she would say or “How about this one?” Apparently she used to own  a sewing shop. The care assistants joined her in her memories by expanding on what she said and did. How Mrs Evans smiled.

Mrs Agnew was rather outspoken. It transpired that she was a previous member of her local council. A potential leader of  a residents committee perhaps.

When watching water skiing on television, the care assistant thought that Mrs Avery was imagining things when she announced that she used to do that. She had been a nanny for  a wealthy family and so she may well have done water skiing.

Mary was regarded as being very confused. It did not stop her from informing the nurse that her hair needed cutting and it would suit her in a bob. Indeed it did and it would.

Mr Smith was always up and out of bed at 4am. The staff soon realised why when they discovered that he used to be  a farmer. We should not alter the habits of others.

It was not until Mrs Apple’s funeral that the staff really knew her. By listening to relatives they became aware of her past life and little habits. It was too late now but it would help future residents.

Listen carefully to confused residents. Often there is some background to their ramblings. Consider Annie who told  a tale of cooking rhubarb pie as a child or described, unprompted, what was on television.

Mrs Tingle was an 88 years old  ex-nurse. She asked what the interview procedure was. She was seriously considering applying but appreciated that it would be better if she could walk.

Mr Drew was an ex- social worker. He kept copies of regulations within his room. Actually he gained various resources for both staff and residents.

Mr Ryne recognised care assistant Smith’s name. He had worked as a fireman with her father.

Tales do not end once the resident has died.

At Garden home, deceased residents were always taken out of the back door. Not now nurse Pye was employed there. They deserved the dignity of the front door she argued. Indeed, some residents wished to be informed that a death had occurred and wanted to attend the funeral.

Mr tall was very close to death but he wanted a watch and some snuff. One of the care assistant bought them for him. He was very happy before he passed away.

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