Wildflowers is a unique service, catering for those with dementia and their loved ones and carers. I offer highly individualised respite day care within the client’s own home, with a focus on enrichment activities, to improve quality of life and wellbeing.

For me, care means seeing the person beyond their diagnosis, and building an effective therapeutic relationship based on respect and the individuality of the person and their loved ones with an emphasis on developing a connection through creativity, and in being supportive to those in a caring role. It is my belief that when we share our passions, the most positive outcomes come about. By sharing those interests, you immediately have a connection with a person, from which to build on and grow into a highly specialised and bespoke interaction, or service. Enrichment activities are led by the individual and are flexible and can change with the clients needs, nothing is ‘set in stone’.

For the cared for person, this may include stories, storytelling and life story work, interactions with animals, and time spent in a natural environment. For the carer, this may mean a listening ear, signposting to other services, and of course, respite time. I carry out an in depth assessment with every client and their loved ones, and from there I will create a suggested plan of care, which organically grows and alters with changes in need, for both the cared for person and their carers.

One example of an approach I may take with Wildflowers is that of stories. Stories and storytelling are key elements to the Wildflowers service. Storytelling is a fundamentally human trait; it contributes to our understanding of the world and how we make sense of things. It can help foster engagement and connection, brings benefits in cognition, and can help combat feelings of loneliness or isolation, depression and anxiety. Stories may take the form of a client’s own personal narratives, or they may be works of fiction. The scope for this kind of work is very broad and is something that again is unique to the client. Stories can take us anywhere, within dementia care we often speak about reminiscence work and this also forms an element of my storytelling practice.