Even tough our sessions are only once a week and we get just an hour with the people we help, I can see that we all are making a connection with the people diagnosed with dementia. They might not even remember us from the last time that we came, but I can sense that our presence, just entering the room brightens up their spirits and engages them. I am aware of the hardships that come with this service because we can’t expect them to be 100% engaged with us but I can observe a difference in their behaviour when we listen to music together. After just 2 seasons I have gotten adept to the environment and realised how we have to make an effort from our own side to be extra happy yet cautious at the same time because it is important that they see a happy environment. We have to remain respectful as well and always keep in mind that we must be patient with them. We had to learn the skills we need to interact with the people there which helped me understand how to be more kind to them by doing basic things such as giving them acknowledgement when they do anything, for instance if they tell me something I should react with enthusiasm and keep talking to them and applaud them for anything that they do. This helps them feel more welcome and creates a connection between us two. That bond is very important because it is very likely that they don’t remember us the next week so at we must be ready and familiar with he patients so that we don’t start from square one every time. Becoming very personal with them is really important and I look forward to helping them out in the future.
Here is a video we made as a group answering questions specific to our service: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MO0owR8vdTsJ02Ckz3KeXifKxSgqa6JC/view?usp=sharing