Two Lives Restored
By Tania Hammond, Spark of Life Master Practitioner and Registered Nurse at Cummins Hospital and Miroma Place Hostel, Cummins, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Since May 2019 Tania has implemented and role modelled the Spark of Life Philosophy with her colleagues to great benefit of all her residents and patients.
After coming back from the Spark of Life Master Leadership Program, I went into our Hospital Aged Care Wing to spend time, one-on-one using Spark of Life Focused Attention with *Pat, who had not been so well emotionally. Because we were in a lounge area, the other residents were also there including Tom who for several weeks had not spoken in fluent sentences nor engaged in much conversation.
I made sure I gave a personal Spark of Life Acknowledgement to each of the other residents before connecting with Pat.
On the second day I came to see Pat, Tom was quite agitated, would get up and walk around sit down then get up and walk around so I spent a bit of Spark of Life Focused Time with Tom, but not a lot.
Then on the third day I was in the small lounge room in the Aged Care Wing talking with some of the other team members when Tom came rushing into the room looking around and then when he found me burst out saying, ‘I know you!’ I looked him in the eyes with a big smile and said, ‘Yes, you do, I am Tania’. We had a beautiful long hug and sat down and he talked for about 15 – 20 minutes, mostly about football. He was engaged and animated while he was sharing and looked me directly in the eyes. It was hard to believe he had not spoken for such a long time and that he had dementia.
I completed our time together by saying, ‘Thank you so much for telling me about the football. I had no idea you were so involved in football. I would really like to give you a hug,’ to which he replied, ‘Ok’ and threw his arms around me and gave me the biggest hug. The other team members sat at the dining table and just went, ‘awww.’
*Lisa, one of our team members at Cummins Hospital, came to me with the wish to do an activity with Pat that involved food as she was worried about Pat not wanting to eat (she had not eaten for several days) I suggested that Lisa invite Pat to make a sandwich with her and that is just what they did.
Pat straight away replied, ‘Yes, I’d like that,’ so Lisa brought all the ingredients in and Pat made the sandwich without any prompting. She knew exactly what she was doing; slicing tomatoes and onions, buttering the bread, adding all the filling and cutting it into quarters before eating half the sandwich.
While Pat was preparing the sandwich, Tom came into the room and asked, ‘What have you got there?” Pat replied, ‘We are making sandwiches.’ ‘Oh, I would like some of that,’ said Tom and he proceeded to try some of the sandwiches.
Through just a few Spark of Life Focused Connections of Unconditional Love, two lives were restored. Two people living with dementia were supported to re-engage with life and the people around them.