One-page profile of a person living with dementia – Winifred

Image of One-page profile of a person living with dementia – Winifred

What others like and admire about me

  • A wonderfully loving personality
  • She brightens the room with her smile
  • Her warmth
  • Her beautiful nature and generosity of spirit
  • She restores my faith in human nature

What’s important to me

• Her daughters Bernie and Maureen who visit daily.
• Pat her daughter who travels up from London to visit and Marie who lives in Liverpool and visits fortnightly.
• Seeing Kevin and David, who are Bernie and Maureen’s spouses – they remind Winifred of her brothers.
• Her grandchildren, Terence, Emma and Ria. Also her great grandchildren, Grace, Ben, Harry, Zach, Charlie, Jack and Oliver. Winifred has a new great grandchild due later on in the year (June 2012).
• Not to be around people who swear or are vulgar.
• Winifred visibly grows when complimented – do this often!
• Her Roman Catholic faith. Winifred must say her prayers each morning and evening.
• She adores cups of tea – milk no sugar.
• Her rapport with Beryl. Winifred loves to be involved in household chores – folding the homes laundry is a must and she loves to clean.
• Kisses and cuddles – Winifred is very tactile and loves a hug. A big smile will draw her to you.
• A diet which works for her – good quality food has always been important to Winifred. She always loved Marks and Spencers food, fish, salmon, vegetables and a light breakfast.
• Company is vital to Winifred – spending time with others, especially Grace, Doreen, John and Joan, who live with Winifred.

How best to support me

• Be aware that Winifred is afraid of water – she does not/must not shower or bathe but thoroughly strip washes herself each day with a supporter nearby.
• Know that Winifred is often preoccupied in the morning. She must sort her room out before she does anything. Give her time and space to do this. She will appreciate you taking her a cup of tea whilst she does this.
• Know that Winifred will worry about upsetting her tummy and the need to let things settle after eating, always respect what she is telling you around this and go with her on it.
• Winifred will eat a light breakfast mid morning and loves to sit and chat as she eats.
• If Winifred is reluctant to get ready for bed, to avoid her becoming distressed, divert her by talking about saying her prayers together with you – ask Winifred to start you off as you have forgotten the prayer.
• Know that Winifred is not a lover of TV and should be supported in ‘doing’. She will become bored and fractious if left sitting for long periods.

Winifred's story

Ninety-two-year-old Winifred Baguely can be heard singing and laughing as she helps clean up after 44 other residents who live with her at Bruce Lodge. Despite always being warm, generous and loving, Winifred, who has dementia, has not always been this satisfied and relaxed in her new home - until she produced a one-page profile with dramatic effects.

One-page profiles for both staff and residents were introduced at Bruce Lodge to achieve two things. For staff, it enabled a greater understanding of each other and meant that each week, team members spent time away from their day to day activities to do something that they personally felt was an important part of their role. For residents living with dementia, the one-page profiles acted as a job description, allowing them to direct their own support and ensuring that the people providing the support understood what was important to them.

All staff at Bruce Lodge, including housekeepers and maintenance staff, produced their own profiles. This exercise allowed the people living with dementia to be matched well with the staff team and choose who they wanted to spend extra time with based on their interests and what was important to them. Winifred chose to spend her time with Beryl the housekeeper because she said she enjoyed helping out with the daily chores such as polishing, sweeping and mopping.

Winifred’s two daughters and staff at Bruce Lodge helped uncover this by sitting down with her and chatting over tea and biscuits to inform the ‘one-page profile’. They asked about good days and bad days, past and present. What was going well and what needed to change. What Winifred had enjoyed in her life in the past, and what she would do, if she could, in the future.

Winifred’s new relationship with Beryl and extra responsibility has had an extraordinary effect on her happiness and wellbeing. At home she would routinely clean the house, so before this was identified in the one-page profile as being important to her, a big part of her life and identity had been missing.

Maureen and Bernie, Winifred’s daughters, have noticed the change that the one-page profile has made to Winifred. She is happier, chatting more, using fuller sentences, sleeping better and is generally ‘’more alive’’. Maureen goes on to say; "The difference is astounding; mum was a housewife, a practical person who spent her life caring for her five children and our father, who died 20 years ago. Her desire to care for people was never blunted but the ability to do so was robbed from her and that left her very frustrated. These chores are helping her connect with other things from her past and are opening up new pathways in her mind. The first thing that we noticed had come back was her language – within a week of working with Beryl she was recalling words much better and introducing me to other people by name, whereas before she didn't know who I was."

Winifred now has enhanced choice and control over how she lives her life and how she is supported on a day to day basis. Winifred can often be found well into the evening, long after the housekeeper has gone home, sitting and folding the laundry. This has simply become the way she chooses to spend her time and the impact this has had on her happiness is evident for all to see. Not only is her smile lighting up her own room but she can be seen beaming all over the home as she reconnects with what she loves most; helping to look after others and bringing joy to the people she lives with.