Fridhemmet is a housing project for people suffering from dementia in the southern part of Sweden. Maja (90) has lived at Frihemmet for one and a half year. ”I worked for many years at SAS. I wasn't a stewardess but my job was to help people with their travels. Jeg know many languages and speak both french, german and english.”
Jan headed for his room after this Thursdays activity: Gymnastics accompanied by music by Abba. It is not uncommon for the residents to forget which room is theirs but Jan knows his way.
Birgitta (94) and Gustav (91) are friends. They sit next to each other for every meal – every day. They cannot remember each other names but they still recognize each other.
Inge (94) was born in Denmark. She is lying on her bed getting ready to take a nap. ”Us Danes must stick together” she says to me. ”I can't believe you are so nice and want to sit here with me. You cannot leave, okay?” I sit at her bedside till she falls asleep. A few days later Inge dies.
Maja at lunch time: ”I don't understand who you are? Do I know you?”
Gullan sits alone in the kitchen while an employee is getting lunch ready. Some of the residents have a beer or some wine for lunchtime – alcohol free though.
Excursion. Every Thursday the different departments take turns going on excursions. Today five women are visiting a café in Malmö to have coffee and cake.
Birgitta (94) and Anita (86) always rely on each other when they go to activities. Today the home is planning what flowers they are going to plant for springtime.
Ulla laying on her bed. She is in a lot of pains and I help her to bed. Dementia can often trigger emotions like grief and frustration over not being able to remember – depending on how far along in the illness you are.
A dog is visiting Fridhemmet. Birgitta squeezes the little chihuahua and whispers: ”Hey little friend”. Animals and dogs tend to have a great effect on people with dementia.
Maja is headed to her room accompanied by Viktor, a young nursing student. ”How cute a couple we would be, right?” Maja comments with a smile.
Gustav has a shower once a week. He is one of the kindest and caring of the residents, always giving out hugs and kisses to the staff and people visiting.
It is 20.13 on a Monday and Gustav is ready for bed. A couple of days later Gustav passes away from pneumonia.