Paddy Partridge has lived at Bupa’s Gardenview Care Home in New Zealand for four years, and before then spent most of her life as a nurse.
During her early days as a resident at the home she would seek out visitors and step into the role of psychiatric nurse with them – sharing her analysis of the other residents.
And in the evenings, Paddy often took on the role of matron – but would become distressed when employees questioned her direction.
Wanting to draw on Paddy’s life experience, while minimising her frustrations, the team at Gardenview settled on a few tasks that Paddy could help out with, such as one-on-one consultations with residents.
Manager, Emily Christensen, also involved Paddy in planning the roster and allocated her some shifts.
Now, if Paddy gets anxious, the team are able to intercept and ask for her assistance in looking after other residents, which helps to calm and focus her – and ultimately Paddy gets to do what she’s good at – listening to the residents and finding out how they are feeling.
Emily said: “She has a heart of gold. The interventions and tasks have helped immensely in making Paddy feel valued and important.”
And this isn’t the first time the team at Gardenview have used this kind of approach.
Emily added: “We have had many nurses as residents here and nearly all have responded well to this approach. Nurses are nurses for life and their need to help others is ingrained in their being – whether they have dementia or not.”