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 (Helga):I was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia (LBD) at the age of 54. From my perspective, residential care facilities should have a team consisting of people who are experts by training (i.e. professionals). I don’t think volunteers should be respon- sible for providing this type of care. Certainly I would not like this for myself. Also, it is very important that staff providing care to me is fluent in my mother tongue. The number of staff should be according to the stage of dementia and symptoms. At night, and considering that one of the symptoms of LBD is hallucinations, one- to-one care would be essential. The staff should be sufficiently qualified especially geriatric and psychiatric nurses. My dream is to have a supporter who matches the characteristics of my personality: the belief in God, love for arts, love for animals and a quite educated personality. These are some of the things that I would appreciate if I had to move to a residential care facility:

  • A garden or orchard with different flowers.
  • —Animals outside (sheep, hens) and inside (cats, dogs, birds).
  • —I would be happy to watch a film and talk about it.
  • —I would like do some painting or art work.

(Juliane):I have been supporting Helga for a while now. I also have personal experience of working in care homes in Germany. From my perspective, it is important that all staff in the care home work together as a team (includ- ing housekeepers, nurses, psychologists, activity supporters etc.). All professionals, no matter the country they are coming from, should have the same professional training. As well, it is extremely important to have a profound knowledge of dementia and of the cultural background of the resident. In my experience, trained volunteers can also collaborate with the staff members and help with tasks that staff can’t carry out because of lack of time. In my own experience, in many care homes, the staff-to-resident ratio should be improved in the evening and at night.

Helga Rohra (EWGPWD) and Juliane Katrin Visser, Germany.






Last Updated: Monday 03 February 2020


  • Acknowledgements

    This Dementia in Europe Yearbook received funding under an operating grant from the European Union’s Health Programme (2014-2020). The content of the Yearbook represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.
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