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Meaningful friendships … what's the value??

Having someone to talk to and maintain a meaningful relationship for our clients is priceless.

People living with Dementia factor this as important to add to value and quality to their lives.

Janette's Companionship Service focusses on establishing a genuine and positive rapport with your loved one.

This is so important to enable them to feel safe and comfortable to go out and about, to chat openly and to have fun and laughter.😉😁🤣

Of course, emphasis when managing the symptoms of any physical condition, take precedence, and this is vital in maintaining optimum good health.

However, it can be very easy to overlook the mental and social aspects of a person.....

It's the non verbal cues we may miss, what your loved one isn't saying....

Our roles as Companions, provide immeasurable support, a laugh out of the blue when someone was feeling down and tearful, a chat to get things in to perspective, a feeling of self worth and belonging....

The truth is that in much of life, it's what we do that carries more weight than what we say.

We mustn't forget the human value that your loved ones wish for more than anything else.

A kind and warm smile, a gentle touch, a consensual hug and kiss.

A genuine want to be in their company, however they may feel.

Companions pay attention to the feelings of all of our clients when we interact on a daily basis, whether they're living with Dementia or not.

This is so important if there are sensory processing difficulties which can impede the communication and meaning of our interactions.

Our clients will remember how we made them feel, even if it's just in the moment, above what we said or did.

The information we may have provided or the verbal exchange we had with them might diminish, but how we made them feel often has a lasting impact.

Sharing a game or puzzle, shouting out the answers to a Tv quiz and laughing when getting it randomly right, or wrong!!😁😁….. strategically placing chocolate counters in to a game of Connect 4 when a Companion's backs turned …genius 💕💕….. reading a newspaper and sharing views and opinions in a secure environment, singing along to favourite songs, watching for the birds in the garden, looking at family photos, sharing a cuppa in a favourite café and food together, invaluable.

Making someone feel they look lovely, painting nails, styling hair, buying a lipstick, a consensual hand massage, all contribute to positive body image and feeling good!!

Our clients don't diminish just because they're age increases, if we stop to listen and take time to really hear their life stories, we have so much to learn … our positions as Companions are humbling and privileged. For many of us, it's a chance to hear a story that they may never have told before, an opportunity to connect on a special level. We often stimulate a memory from what we might perceive as a seemingly random passing comment - memories of childhood, war experiences, penny sweets, rationing, even turning on the TV, may provoke a favourite programme, or a song.

The key for Companions is to provide quality time, to be silent and quiet when necessary, to interpret the feel of their mood and to adjust ourselves to make each experience as treasured as we can.

Janette's key ethos, if you like, is that each individual we spend time with, should, where possible, have the happiest and enjoyable experience with their Companion.

What you would want for your own family member..... we never underestimate the ability of our amazing clients to recall a memory of an occasion with any one of us, if it's experienced with compassion, understanding and warmth.

Receiving birthday or Christmas gifts from Companions or the Service, can be very significant.

Some of our clients have limited family or friends contact and this small gesture can really make our clients feel special and though of on their special day.

Accessing local Community D cafes, Church activities or centre activities are enjoyed for some, as is one to one time with a Companion they get along with well.

It's a human Service, there are high days and low moments, activities aren't received or wanted, so we reboot and try again, we go with the flow and what will make that moment our clients are experiencing more comfortable for them.

It's vital that we also have a great rapport with family who are actively involved so that we're all coming from the same page... an old cliché, but it is good to talk !!

Identifying with other people within their Communities, offers a different environment and stimulates varied conversations. This can frequently, be more challenging, as the people working in hairdressers, cafes, restaurants and local shops, aren't always familiar. It's truly fantastic for all of us to observe an initiated chat with our clients and others!! We can underestimate small moments, which are really big for someone, who feels isolated and may have lost the ability to make conversation, all of which do nothing for self confidence, self worth and esteem. Let's not forget the Carers that we meet on visits and the relationships which are so important for our clients, between them and how we can work together.

It truly is a fab Service and unique in it's focus, I hope you've found this helpful and its given some insights in to the value of Janette's Companions with your loved ones.


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