‘What is really important to me?’
Vic loves his home and enjoys living there. Kath keeps the house and garden looking lovely and feeds the birds outside his window so that Vic can enjoy their company. Vic also has a large sliding glass door in the
kitchen so he can get plenty of fresh air and enjoy the view. He likes to get outside in the garden when the weather is suitable.
‘What would I like to be able to do?’
Vic’s number one priority is to continue to enjoy living safely and happily in his own home. Vic needs to be able to do all of these things to make this possible:
- To move around his home safely, with assistance as needed;
- To stay on his own in the house safely and happily for short periods during the day and overnight;
- To stay as strong as possible by eating well and drinking plenty of fluids;
- To be sure that somebody knows his wishes and is able to make decisions on his behalf if he is not well enough to do so himself.
‘What is helping me to do the things I want to do at home, and what is getting in the way?’
Vic has problems moving around in his home because he has arthritis, his balance is not as good as it used to be and he is generally not as strong as he once was.
There used to be steps up to his front door that made it increasingly difficult for him to get outside into the garden. Vic has also had a couple of falls at home, which shook his confidence. On the other hand, Vic’s ability to get around in his home is helped by his environment in that his home is all on one level.
Sometimes Vic’s dementia can make it difficult for him to stay at home on his own in the day. It can sometimes be difficult for him to follow programmes on television, and if he gets bored, confused or restless he can be at greater risk of falls. However, Vic’s social situation is very helpful in this respect. Kath lives and works just downstairs and he also has input from professional carers several times per day, so he is only ever on his own for short periods of time during the day. Vic’s dementia can also
sometimes cause him to be unsettled and wakeful at night and this can be worrying for both him and Kath.
Regarding his nutrition and hydration, Vic has to have a soft diet because he has had a stroke in the past and his appetite isn’t as good as it used to be. However, he does always have somebody around to encourage him at meal times, either his daughter or a professional carer. Vic cannot get up to make him
self a drink when he is on his own, and so regular visits from carers are important to support this need.
Kath is Vic’s main carer. She supports him to make his own decisions whenever possible and makes them on his behalf in his best interests if he is unable to do so.
On occasions, when acute infections have caused him to be confused and prevented him from making his own decisions, Kath has made them on his behalf. However, last year there was an incident when Kath was taken to hospital as an emergency. As a result, although his professional carers rapidly arranged to step in with extra support to meet Vic’s practical and physical care needs, there was nobody else on hand to help Vic explain his wishes for his own care or with the formal authority to represent his wishes. This incident caused great anxiety to both Vic and Kath, and it became apparent that more formal arrangements were needed to make sure that it is always clear who has the authority to represent Vic’s interests and to support his wishes for his own care.