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 

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Home » Lifestyle » How specialist dementia support can aid care

Veronica Gray

DCEO & Director of Policy, Hourglass

It’s unthinkable that an estimated 2,700,000 older people are abused in the UK each year. This abuse could be financial, physical, sexual, psychological or through neglect.

Hourglass, the UK’s only charity focused exclusively on elder abuse and safer ageing is leading the way in making this unthinkable issue as unacceptable as child abuse or animal cruelty. It’s all too easy to look the other way and even easier to see this as someone else’s problem.

There is a common misconception that domestic abuse ends at age 60, as one in three people in the UK believe that acts of domestic violence directed at older people don’t constitute abuse. There’s also confusion about what ‘elder abuse’ is.

So this year, Hourglass refocused its efforts on a safer ageing agenda. This ensures older people subjected to abuse, harm, intimidation, scams, or fraud know that Hourglass is there to listen, advise and support. After all, we are all going to get older and we believe everyone should be able to age safely.

Hourglass runs the UK’s only 9am to 5pm elder abuse helpline, instant messenger and text service. It has also launched the first online Knowledge Bank to further expand access to the charity and information on the abuse of older people and safer ageing.

Sadly, this unique helpline and messaging service are only open during office hours and we desperately need to make this a 24/7 operation. We get almost 10,000 calls a year but nearly 20% of these cannot currently be answered as they are outside working hours. You can help Hourglass be there for every out of hours caller, it could literally be a life saver.

You can support the 24/7 campaign by making a donation www.wearehourglass.org.uk/donate

Or by texting SAFER to 70460 to donate £10.

Texts cost £10 plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to give £10 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text SAFERNOINFO to 70460.

We need you to stand up and be counted. We need to be 24/7.

Hourglass is the working name of Hourglass (Safer Ageing), a charity registered in England and Wales (reg. no: 1140543), and also in Scotland (reg. no: SC046278). Hourglass (Safer Ageing) is registered as a company in England and Wales under number 07290092.

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