Saturday, January 11, 2014
Retired psychiatric nurse Lois Ransome is launching a business helping people with dementia to “come alive” in their own homes.
The 56-year-old said she had seen for herself the benefits of engaging with sufferers and wants to combine her passion with enterprise.
And by re-connecting people with dementia or Parkinson’s disease with their memories they could make more of today and feel valued, she said.
Mrs Ransome, who has worked within the NHS at Northgate in Great Yarmouth and in care homes, believed her business was unique in Norfolk, chiming with government thinking about helping people to stay in their own homes.
Her work involves helping the mostly old folk maintain what function they have and to add interest to their lives they can share with others.
“It is a passion of mine,” she said. “As well as a business idea. Even when I was a little girl I used to go out of my way to help and talk to the old folk. I think I always felt the injustice of them being overlooked.”
Disillusioned with the NHS, Mrs Ransome, of Ormesby St Margaret, began working as an activities’ co-ordinator in a Hemsby care home – a role she relished – transforming the lives of clients through simple acts like gardening and washing up.
“Some ladies just like to fill a bowl of water and do a bit of washing up and have a chat. Sometimes they will do it 20 times over. They may also like their make-up done or to have a hand massage.
“Some of the men like to do a bit of gardening. I had one gentleman who used to lie under his bed tinkering with the springs and it turns out he was a lorry mechanic.
“People just need to be talked to and interacted with. One lady who I looked after was a Scrabble champion who could not remember her name in the morning but still played a good game.”
Mrs Ransome, who has two grown-up children, thinks there are hundreds of people living locally with a carer, probably a spouse, who could benefit. And with the number of dementia sufferers set to pass the one million mark in the UK by 2021, the problem is only going to get worse.
Mrs Ransome will tailor activities to get the best out of her clients, providing transport, materials like paints and brushes.
The sessions will be recorded in a scrap book to share with family and friends, providing a starting point for new conversations.
She is CRB checked and has various insurances for outings.
“The idea is to give carers a break and validate and appreciate the client, which has been proven to help keep memory intact for a little longer. Reminiscence about what people used to do before they lost their short term memory helps them to come alive,” she added.
Mrs Ransome can be contacted on 07732680298 or email@example.com