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Any experienced working carers?


Registered User
Jan 22, 2015
Hi, I have recently took on a new position in a care home for dementia patients. I have just completed my induction and have been informed I will be placed in the late stages of dementia unit.
With no previous care experience with this type of illness and coming from a youth work background I am feeling a little anxious about working with the later stages.
I want to succeed in every way to help a residents life happier and easier lives but was taken back when shown around the unit I will be doing 12 hour shifts in.

Have any carers had this initial feeling of uncertainty and doubt before settling in to this new environment and taking on this challenging symptoms?

I guess I'm just looking for some reassurance that this worry passes and any tips that will help me to be the best support I can be for the residents.

Thank you

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not” - Dr. Seuss


Registered User
Jun 4, 2010
West Midlands
No experience as an employee but I think if I had to start at late stage dementia I don't know what I would have done. It's hard enough dealing with and going through the stages slowly....

I think my advice to you would be

Be aware that emotions are strong at this stage. Words don't always "get through"

Good feelings. Feelings of safety. Touch. Happy voice. Agree that black is white.... Plenty of white lies.... Yes their mum will be back soon, they are just out shopping.... The doctor wants them to stay tonight and mum will pick them up tomorrow... Anything that gives a feeling of security. Be prepared to say a white lie as if it's the first time you have said it, even though it may be the 20th, within 5 minutes.

Remember it's the dementia talking but are still people with feelings.

"Crabbit Old Woman"

What do you see, what do you see?

Are you thinking, when you look at me-
A crabbit old woman, not very wise,
Uncertain of habit, with far-away eyes,
Who dribbles her food and makes no reply
When you say in a loud voice,
I do wish you'd try.
Who seems not to notice the things that you do
And forever is loosing a stocking or shoe.
Who, unresisting or not; lets you do as you will
With bathing and feeding the long day is fill.
Is that what you're thinking,
Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes,
nurse, you're looking at me.
I'll tell you who I am as I sit here so still!
As I rise at your bidding, as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of 10 with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters, who loved one another-
A young girl of 16 with wings on her feet,
Dreaming that soon now a lover she'll meet,
A bride soon at 20- my heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows that I promised to keep.
At 25 now I have young of my own
Who need me to build a secure happy home;
A woman of 30, my young now grow fast,
Bound to each other with ties that should last;
At 40, my young sons have grown and are gone,
But my man's beside me to see I don't mourn;
At 50 once more babies play around my knee,
Again we know children, my loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me, my husband is dead,
I look at the future, I shudder with dread,
For my young are all rearing young of their own.
And I think of the years and the love that I've known;
I'm an old woman now and nature is cruel-
Tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.
The body is crumbled, grace and vigor depart,
There is now a stone where I once had a heart,
But inside this old carcass, a young girl still dwells,
And now and again my battered heart swells,
I remember the joy, I remember the pain,
And I'm loving and living life over again.
I think of the years all too few- gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last-
So open your eyes, nurse, open and see,
Not a crabbit old woman, look closer-
See Me

Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
Last edited:


Registered User
Jan 22, 2015
your reply is deeply appreciated. Thank you for sharing. It helps in a way to have more understanding and patience which will help when I face certain situations or challenges so I can give a resident the best care with the best outcome for them.

Thank you


Registered User
Jul 29, 2013
North East
A lovely moving poem that.

I would like to say thank you for taking this position. I hope you realise just how much of a difference you will make to peoples lives. Although the "normal" person doesn't seem to be there any more they often pop back for a second or two. Be kind, think of how you would wish to be treated or when things get tough (and they will at times) then imagine this is one of your parents and you must ensure they are treated well. I'm sure you have been trained in the practicalities of basic care, you will work with several different staff and will pick up good ideas from them. Do watch out for nipping, biting/gumming and punching, this can be a reaction to something the person doesn't understand and is scared of. White lies are your new best friend.

Good luck xx

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