Elise Smithers

Elise Smithers in outdoor setting

Oral Hygiene and Footcare Coordinator / Music and Memory Champion

Garrawarra Centre

"As part of the music memory program, I organise iPod Shuffles with personalised playlists for the residents to enjoy. The music decreases their agitation and aggression, and gives them pleasure.  When you have dementia, you have a minimum of things that you get enjoyment from.  It gives them a sense of remembering who they are. It’s amazing when you see withdrawn residents so happy. 

One of my residents, he genuinely believes that I’m his daughter. He sees me and says ‘Ah…you’re here!’ I feel if a resident is expressing themselves and that’s what they believe, it’s not hurting anyone and it’s a comfort for them. He’s over the moon that I’m there. Then he’ll always stay close while I’m doing my job. If any staff or visitors walk by, he’ll introduce me as his daughter – he’s so proud of me. 

I was a bit concerned when his daughter visited.  I spoke with her and she said, ‘You know what, it’s lovely, because he thinks I’m here every day and he’s happy every day’. In the end, he has dementia and it’s no one’s fault.  It’s part of the disease and you just go with it.”