Home » Lifestyle » How specialist dementia support can aid care

Caroline Baker

Director of Dementia Care, Barchester Healthcare

Moving into a care home can be a challenging time for those living with dementia, but having specialist dementia caregivers and supportive communities can help ease the transition.  

At the very heart of our dementia ethos is the belief that we see the person and not the condition. With every new resident that comes to live in our communities, we take the time to get to know that person and their loved ones so that we can develop an in-depth knowledge of who they are, who and what is important to them and understand the life they have led. 

Specialist dementia environments  

We recognise that moving into a care home can be a distressing time for somebody living with dementia as they are moving into a new environment and our staff are skilled at managing the settling in time, to alleviate anxiety and make them feel as comfortable as possible as quickly as possible.  

Our homes all have clear signage, colours and themes within the corridors of the memory lane communities, as we understand the important role this can play in helping the residents to find their way around the home more easily.  

It is also really important to us that we focus on nutrition and ensure that our residents are able to continue to eat and drink the things that they like. Assistance is provided to help them to do this through the use of skilled staff, specialist crockery and cutlery (if that is required) and a choice of dining settings to accommodate their individual needs. 

We have also found robotic pets to be a real hit as many of our residents had either a cat or a dog at home.

Understanding dementia care needs  

Our staff at Barchester are extremely knowledgeable in dementia care and provide daily activities that are suitable to the individual’s needs and we are constantly looking at new technology that can support this. We have introduced magic tables into a lot of our homes, these are interactive light projectors designed to promote stimulation through specialised games.  

They support increased physical and social interactions for residents and most of all, offer the opportunity to have fun, which has proved to be a real success as family and friends have also been able to participate in this along with the resident. We have also found robotic pets to be a real hit as many of our residents had either a cat or a dog at home and we have seen so much joy when residents are interacting with them.  

Barchester Healthcare’s specialist dementia team are working with Leeds Beckett University’s Centre for Dementia Research. Their findings are being implemented in Barchester’s Memory Lane communities.  

To find a Barchester home near you go to www.barchester.com 

Next article