Profile

Profile – Esther Wiskerke

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Name:

Esther Wiskerke

Job title:

Speaker / trainer / writer / dementia day care manager

Area of Research:

Dementia and sexuality

Tell us a little about yourself:

I have had a kaleidoscope of life and professional experience that leads over several continents. This has all come together in London where I found a passion for excellent dementia care. By day I manage a day centre that specialises in managing Behavioural Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD) via a non-pharmaceutical approach. By night, I write articles relating to (positive) ageing, dementia and sexuality. In my spare time, I speak at workshops and events. Through my work I have developed her own ‘Managing Sexuality in Dementia Care’ training which I present to various groups across England and Wales.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself:

It was discovered by chance that I can whistle not too badly. Since, I regularly walk into the day care setting and whistle a tune. It’s wonderful to see how different people (with dementia) react to the whistling. It leaves everyone with a smile and me feeling more relaxed afterwards before returning to my desk.

Why did you choose to work in dementia?

It is humbling to work with people with dementia. Unfortunately, there’s not yet a cure, but making people feel better in the moment is important too. Sometimes when speech is no longer straightforward due to various reasons, what’s left is feelings. It’s beautiful to see how you can connect with facial expressions, like smiling, simple gentle touch, like holding someone’s hand or movement, like swaying bodies to music.

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