A Carers Story
Date Posted: 20.10.2010
(published October 2010)
We hear many stories from clients and carers about their interactions with each other. One that really captured us was from one of our carers, Victoria, who worked with a client with Alzheimers. He would become quite distressed when his wife left for the few hours that Victoria was there for. Through the conversations that Victoria and our client had, she discovered that he used to live on a farm. Victoria then told him about the virtual farm she had on Facebook. After showing him how it worked and seeing how relaxed he became while 'working' on the farm, they set up his own Facebook and Farmville account. Taking care of his virtual farm has given him peace of mind while his wife goes out for a few hours when Victoria is there.
See below for Victoria's story:
"I work with a man who is 82 years old who suffers from Dementia and Alzheimer's. During my visits he would constantly cry out for his wife and demand her attention. When she went shopping I would endeaver to calm him and take his mind from his wife, this I did by talking with him, reading him stories and praying with him, at times he would become agitated and I would assure him that his wife was on the way home. Through our conversations I discovered that he used to live on a farm, so I told him about a virtual farm that I have on Facebook. I explained to him how it works, then I decided to show him my farm on the computer,he smiled when I clicked on the cows to milk them, he also seemed amused by the movements of the animals and their noises. He was calm and relaxed throughout the experience. I then asked him to click on the cows and take over control of the mouse, he took it and played with the sheep, ducks,cows etc.
I then set him up with his own farm and as the days went by he accumulated all his own animals, harvested his crops and had a dog and cats as pets.
His family and I are still keeping his farm going during his stay in hospital; his farm is now on level 17.
I would recommend that this exercise be made known to other carers and families of persons who suffer from the above illnesses as it brought great pleasure to this client and has given his wife more freedom from his demands."