PSW eliminates Trillium resident’s agitation during bathing by triggering childhood memory 


A Trillium Villa resident who was resisting bathing is no longer experiencing agitation when it’s time to have a bath, and all it took was personal support worker (PSW) Darlene Abbey mentioning a favourite childhood toy.

Other PSWs had tried unsuccessfully to encourage the resident to bathe, but when Darlene approached the resident she decided to learn a little bit more about him to see if she could trigger a fond bathing experience.

This is exactly what happened.

“In her efforts to get to know more about the fellow, she learned that his dad used to tell him, ‘there is no point having a bath without a rubber ducky,’ ” says Kim Van Dam, Trillium Villa’s administrator.

So Darlene got the resident three rubber ducks.

This changed everything for the resident. Today, he is happy to have baths with his rubber ducks in the tub with him and is no longer agitated during bathing. He enjoys reminiscing about having baths as a child, Kim says.

“This is the amazing gift that Darlene Abbey brings with her every day when she comes to work,” Kim says. “It is selfless and kind and loving work, and she excels in every aspect of her commitment to the residents she cares for.

“I watch Darlene interacting with our residents daily, and what I see when I observe her is a person who gets pure joy from understanding the uniqueness of each person she cares for.”


This story was published by Axiom News, originally on Steeves & Rozema's website. Reposted with permission.