The senior members of our team are keen to highlight the individualised care provided to older people living with dementia in our care homes.
Caring for residents with dementia
Lindsay Rees, Director of Health and Care, who has more than 15 years of adult social care experience, heads up the teams that look after care home residents living with dementia. We have a dementia-dedicated Clinical Leadership Team, led by Lindsay, which is supported by skilled care experts, including Lisa Barnes-Metcalf, Clinical Operations Manager, who recently joined our team, and a host of Home Managers, Clinical Leads and Senior Nurses.
Dementia is a general term for a range of medical conditions that can affect a person through loss of memory, language, problem-solving and other thinking abilities, which impact on daily life.
Welcoming new residents with dementia
Lindsay said that in the past few weeks, they have welcomed some residents living with dementia who have been looked after by their family during the past year of Covid lockdowns and the relatives no longer feel able to cope with the demands of round-the-clock care.
As the government’s Covid restrictions begin to lift, we are now able to welcome family members and their loved ones to have a covid-safe viewing of the purpose-built facilities available. Full PPE and rapid flow testing are in place for the safety of the care home residents, staff, and visitors.
Caring for relatives with dementia
Asked what advice she would give to a relative who may be considering a care home for their loved one who has dementia, she said: “I realise the process of finding the right care and environment for an individual is really challenging for families. So it’s important to stress that we are experienced at dealing with those burdens and anxieties, which can include a sense of loss and guilt.
“Our teams are dedicated to getting to know the individual and their needs so that we can smooth that transition for both resident and family. We will do our absolute best and we will always think outside the box as to how we can make it work for their needs – reducing any stress or worry and providing comfort and reassurance.”
We work with the person and their family to create a care plan, which considers the loved one’s care needs, as well as their preferences, lifestyles, interests, and routines. Our purpose-built care homes across Dorset and Hampshire feature specific floors that cater to people with varying levels of dementia needs, from the early signs of dementia through to behaviour that can be challenging, and end of life care.
Dedicated to dementia care
Lindsay added: “Our philosophy is that we must have the residents at the heart of everything that we do. Our core values lead us on the decisions we make and the approaches we take to resident care, which include being proud to be dedicated to supporting older people to live well with dementia, to make a difference in people’s lives and to support the NHS. We see our residents and the team as an extension of our own families and the care we provide reflects that.”
She went on to say that a number of positives changes can now be made for the benefit of residents and relatives as lockdown restrictions lift. These include that on the day that a new dementia resident arrives, their chosen relative will be able to spend the entire day there to help them settle in, before the resident undergoes a period of self-isolation, which is assisted by our team. Alongside all other care home residents, they will also be able to nominate two relatives who can visit them on a regular basis, including through the self-isolation period.
For more information about the dementia care services available, go to our Dedicated to Dementia page.