I have been a home carer and home support worker for the Heath Service Executive (HSE) for the past 15 years.I currently work part-time and I visit three clients daily, each of whom have very different care needs. However, throughout this assignment, and in order to demonstrate my care skills, I will focus on one client in particular.
Jane (pseudonym used) is a 92 year old woman who lives in her own home. She was diagnosed with senile dementia two years ago. According to Rossor (1982) ‘dementia is the global disturbance of higher mental functions in an alert patient. The possible causes are many, but most cases are associated with degenerative disease of the central nervous system’ . Prior to Jane’s diagnosis she was relatively mobile but for added support and mobility she used a walking cane. As Jane’s health worsened she began using a Zimmer frame and today Jane is completely immobile and is heavily dependent upon others for assistance. Her Barthel Index score is 0 which mean she has maximum dependency.
Similarly Jane’s washing and dressing abilities were profoundly affected by her diagnosis. She requires total assistance with her washing and dressing needs. As Jane is very weak from her illness she must be given a complete bed bath every day. Her dressing needs are also carried out in her bed on a daily basis. Due to muscle weakness in her left arm, care must be taken when dressing Jane so as not to cause her harm.
Jane’s dementia has also had an impact on her communication abilities. Her lack of awareness and hearing loss interferes with her ability to effectively converse with others. Jane mostly uses non-verbal signs such as facial expressions or head movements to communicate. Any changes in Jane’s condition must be documented and immediately reported to a supervisor.
The twelve activities of daily living (ADL’S) listed in the Roper, Logan and Tierney Model of Nursing (1996) reflect the basic human needs that all humans must...