Thinking about Ukraine

Dementia Care
March 14, 2022

Some of the people you support may well be affected by the events unfolding in Ukraine. Our QCS specialist, Barry Price, offers some timely advice on how you can assist them in their time of need.

London to Ukraine is approximately 1700 miles, yet the fact that it is within the European borders brings home the very real situation we find ourselves in.

What is happening in Ukraine is a cause of concern for many people around the world. But take some time to think about those we may be supporting in our care homes and domiciliary services right now, or even an elderly relative or neighbour.

How many of your residents, neighbours, friends or relatives fought in a war or conflict?

How many of your residents, neighbours, friends or relatives were young children during the last war in Europe so will have vivid and, in some cases, very traumatic memories of such a time in their lives?

So you might be wondering why I am bringing this to your attention.

A hand of friendship to residents

Simple, if you know your residents well or even relatives living at home or being supported by your care or support teams, ask them how they might be feeling about what is happening in Ukraine.

Ask how this might be affecting them emotionally and mentally. Those of you who have elderly neighbours may want to go and check. Hold out a hand of friendship as they may be experiencing memories of conflict past, bringing into focus grief and loss they may have endured as a result. If they are already lonely, this situation will not help them.

If you have completed life history work in your services, then you will know quite a lot about the history of your residents. Have you noticed those precious black and white photos like in my families’ homes of men and women in uniform?

What can you do to support?

So, have you and your team discussed what you can do to support your residents through this current situation? Here are some suggestions:

  • If you are in a service that has a TV running just for background noise, then think about the channels you may have on and what is being aired
  • Do your key workers have training in order to support some difficult conversations that may result from reading the papers?
  • What about pastoral advice and support that may be available in your community?
  • Do you know who to escalate any concerns to if needed?

Just knowing who in your circle may need a little bit of extra support, a friendly face or a hand to hold, a reassuring smile and words can make a huge difference to the people you care or love the most.

Further information

There are a number of charities that may be able to offer support:

https://www.ssafa.org.uk/get-help/supporting-older-veterans

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/scotland/what-we-do/supporting-older-veterans/#

https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-support/care-and-independent-living

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/support-for-war-veterans

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