Daily chores help friends reduce anxiety and dementia challenges at Edensor Care Centre

03 Dec 2020

Muhammed Neeliyath, Residential Manager at Edensor Care Centre, Diagrama’s home for elderly nursing and dementia care in Clacton-on-Sea, talks about the pleasure the team experience when they see residents developing friendships and supporting each other.

“One of Edensor’s residents Diane Groome, 71, who joined Edensor in September, after a short stay in hospital, has formed a lovely and very rewarding friendship with Susan Thiel, 73, who has dementia and anxiety and joined us in May. Susan lives with dementia and depression and was constantly worrying about things. Diane who can be forgetful but has not been diagnosed with dementia, has taken Susan under her wing.

The Edensor team has seen fantastic results from this friendship as Susan now feels less anxious and the relationship has given Diane a friend that she really wants to help. We were really concerned with the level of anxiety Susan displayed and wanted to put in place activities that would help to lessen this.

We witnessed the way Diane was looking after her friend and that this attention was helping Susan feel less anxious. To build on this positive relationship, we gave Susan and Diane the responsibility for laying the tables in the dining room and helping Chef to serve meals to their fellow residents a few days a week. The pair complete the task with the help of one of our Activity Coordinators, and we hope that soon they will be comfortable enough with the routine, to help in the dining room every day. Susan’s condition means that she will have forgotten what she did when she laid tables the time before, but Diane and the Activity Coordinator are always there to lessen her anxiety and help her.

As a care professional it is so rewarding to see the change in Susan, since Diane took her under her wing. Previously Susan would sit and worry, so this is a fantastic distraction for her and seeing Diane reassuring her as she lays the tables has such positive rewards. This has been so successful that the two friends now help me with administration tasks in the office too.”

Edensor Care Centre has the “Working Towards Dementia Friendly Status” from Dementia Action Alliance and is delighted to have its work recognised in this way.