Welcome Laura Jenkins, MSN, FNP
Laura began her medical career as a CNA at Lanier Park in 2001. She loved every aspect of patient care and decided she wanted to be a nurse. She graduated from Brenau University with her BSN, RN in 2006.
Her nursing career began at Atlanta Medical Center, where she worked as an ER/Trauma nurse.
In 2011, she moved to Gainesville with her family, and began working in home health, where she found a different kind of passion. She loves being able to take care of the patient and their family, no matter the setting or situation.
She briefly worked for a doctor’s office and decided to get her master’s degree, as a Family Nurse Practitioner
While in grad school, Laura worked full time as a home health nurse, she transitioned from the doctor’s office (something about more flexibility outside of 4 walls) to home health. Laura did enjoy time in 2019 on a medical mission to Uganda with her church, Concord Baptist.
A double minted alum from Brenau University, Laura graduated in 2020 with her MSN, FNP. She began her hospice and palliative care career shortly after.
She loves life with her 2 daughters, Hadley and Olivia and in her spare time, she enjoys being on the lake paddle boarding.
“I love being in a patient’s home. At their kitchen table or on their sofa. I feel like you can wholly take better care of a patient and their family when you know what dynamics are being offered. Not everyone has the same kind of support system. I think communication is a huge part of living, and hospice and palliative care help provide that quality of life when we don’t really know what to expect.”
Dementia communication Speaking
Nearly every type of dementia compromises the ability to process language. It’s harder for the affected person to grasp words, to comprehend their meaning, and to track what’s being said. Communication with your family member may seem a frustrating struggle. Still, aim for interactions that maintain a positive relationship. Your emotional tone is key: Pay attention to your body language, gestures, facial expressions, tone of voice, and volume. What will linger for your relative is how they felt about the interaction more than what was said. To help your relative, speak slowly, calmly, and patiently. Avoid long sentences, slang, or idioms (“Keep your eyes peeled”). Try to avoid comments that might leave your loved one feeling less-than or stupid. Conversation tips
- Don’t talk as if your relative is not there—for example, at the doctor’s office.
- Avoid correcting or arguing. Unless it creates danger, go along with their view when possible. Pointing out their deficits just engenders shame and mistrust.
- Keep stories or topics simple. They can’t follow a complicated plot.
- Avoid questions about recent events, such as “What did you do yesterday?” Focus instead on the far past and their feelings, as in “What did you used to do for fun in the winter?”
Informing or getting things done
- Do “with,” not “to” or “for.” To support cooperation, sit at the same eye level, make eye contact, touch or hold hands, and share what you would like them to do. They need to feel they still have control in their life.
- Offer binary choices: “yes/no” questions or two choices (“Would you like coffee or tea?”) rather than open-ended questions (“What would you like to drink?”). Consider offering your preferred option last. It’s often the one chosen.
- Visual cues are helpful. Show them the choices so they can point.
- Keep instructions simple, one step at a time.