Creative Ways to Maintain Elderly Parents Routine in COVID19 Isolation
© Danielle Robertson Consulting Pty Ltd t/as DR Care Solutions
During this isolation period there's been some heart-warming family gestures shared through various media platforms.
The loving gestures made by Jason van Genderen, a filmmaker based on the NSW Central Coast, towards his elderly mum reach a new level.
Jason has gone to incredible lengths to reduce the impact of isolation on his 87-year old mum, Hendrika, who lives with Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia.
A storyteller and specialist in iPhone film making, Jason has shared these experiences through the Facebook page, Omas Applesauce : Hendrika is Dutch and "Oma" is Dutch for Grandma; applesauce is one of her favourite traditional condiments.
An Aquarium Experience for Mum
The aquarium experience he created for Mother's Day this year went viral and was picked up by media outlets around the world. Using baking paper attached to the windows of the family home and projectors, Jason recreated one of his favourite family outings as a child, a trip to the Sydney Aquarium. Take a look at his short film on the Oma Applesauce Facebook page or Google the Channel 7 Sunrise Report. It is a bit of a tearjerker but just beautiful.
Adapting Existing Routines for Mum
Medical research tells us that people with dementia need a certain amount of routine and daily structure on which they can depend. This consistency helps minimise any stress they may be experiencing from their declining mental capacity.
In his film, Oma's Sunday Routine, Jason shares the difficulties faced by the disruption caused by COVID-19 to his mum's routines. I love how ‘house-proud’ Oma is.
With COVID-19, Jason is concerned about the change of routine for his mother, namely, that she can’t go out for a coffee to her favourite local place with Jason and just how important the TV guide from the Daily Telegraph is for her – no other TV guide will do.
Love and patience is required. Despite the changes to the usual daily visits to the coffee shop and newsagent, Jason has done his best to minimise those changes to his mum's routine.
One incredibly admirable initiative is how he and his family have re-created his mum's weekly grocery shopping by staging a Coles shopping experience at home. Just beautiful and even Oma has a giggle.
At this point, I think we are ready to award Jason with an Australian of the Year Award, well at least, an Australian Son of the Year Award. Even our Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been moved by the films. After watching the Coles experience, he tweeted, "This beautiful video made my day".
Problem Solving for Changes in Behaviour
Be mindful that loved ones with dementia may display changes in the behaviour as a result of the restrictions brought on by COVID-19. A useful guide to solving those problems can be found on the Dementia Australia website.
For advice and assistance on how to set up the right care, support and assistance for your loved one, at the right time and in the right place, please feel free to contact me, Danielle Robertson at DR Care Solutions, for an initial discussion.