If you're supporting a relative with dementia, you may worry whether they will be provided with the personalised care and support they might require. Completing a 'This is me' document with, or for, your relative can help ensure health and care workers are aware of the little details that can make a big difference
If you are supporting a parent - or other relative - who is suffering from dementia or other communication issues, you may well worry that those providing care might not know enough about them to provide them with adequate support and dignity.
Depending on your relative's condition and circumstances, they may be unable to readily provide health and care workers with the personal information and preferences that could be really invaluable. Since you are unlikely to always act as an advocate on their behalf, then a 'cool, calm and collected' resource that can provide essential briefing notes can be a real boon for all involved.
'This is me' is a resource produced by the Royal College of Nursing and The Alzheimer's Society to do just this. Although it's not a medical document, it can really enhance the provision of care and support and help maintain a patient's dignity while they are being cared for.
There are links to the 'This is me' form below, but the following notes provide guidance on the information you may wish to consider for each section. Ideally, the form will be completed by the person with dementia, but otherwise can be filled out by you - or their primary carer - with input from the person with dementia where possible.
Name I like to be called:
You can enter your full name on the front and (if different) the name you like to be called inside.
Where I live:
The area (but not the actual address) where you live and how long you have lived there.
Carer/the person who knows me best:
This may be a
I would like you to know:
Include anything you feel is important and will help staff get to know and care for you: e.g.
My background, family and friends (home, pets and any treasured possessions):
Current and past interests, jobs and places I have lived and visited:
The following routines are important to me:
Include what you like to do daily, e.g.
Things that may worry or upset me:
Include anything you may find troubling, e.g.
What makes me feel better if I am anxious or upset:
Include things that may help if you become unhappy or distressed, e.g.
My hearing and eyesight:
How we can communicate:
How do you usually communicate, e.g.
How do you indicate pain, discomfort, thirst or hunger?
Include anything that may help staff identify your needs.
Include usual sleep patterns and bedtime routine e.g
My personal care:
List your usual practices, preferences and level of assistance required in the bath, shower or other e.g.
How I take my medication:
My eating and drinking:
List any special dietary requirements or preferences including being vegetarian, and religious or cultural needs. Include information about your appetite and whether you need help to choose food from a menu.
Other notes about me:
Include additional details about yourself that are not listed above and help to show who you are, e.g.
Indicate any advance plans that you have made, including details of the person you have appointed as attorney over your affairs, or where health and social care professionals can find this information.