Dementia can be an emotional journey and moving into full-time care may be a difficult decision for the resident and their family. You must be absolutely confident that the care home you choose has the right facilities, skills and approach to support people whose lives are changed by dementia.
Hallmark Care Homes is a member of the Dementia Action Alliance, is signed up to the national Dementia Pledge and is actively involved in research projects to improve standards of dementia care. Throughout 2018 we have pledged to raise £50,000 for Alzheimer’s Reseach UK to help the charity fund essential research into the disease, a cause we are very passionate about.
Our Dementia Care
The Hallmark Care Homes’ approach to supporting all of our residents – relationship-centred care – is especially important for our residents diagnosed with dementia. Our specially trained dementia care team receive ongoing training to make sure they have the communication and observational skills vital for optimum care.
We know that by building compassionate, trusting relationships and by knowing the individuals’ biography, personality and life journey, we can help people (and their families and friends who share the journey) to live enjoyable, stimulating and fulfilling lives. Our recently launched, comprehensive strategy outlines exactly how we deliver this level of care to all residents. To find out more you can download a summary of the strategy here.
Using the ‘About Me’ booklet, we build a lifestyle profile and tailor the environment, the attention and the support to each individual. And don’t forget the activities. Life is for living, so we ensure every day is as stimulating and enjoyable as possible and nothing makes us – and our residents – happier than the involvement of friends and family.
What is Dementia?
Dementia is an umbrella term for a number of neurological conditions, which include:
- Vascular dementia
- Lewy Body dementia
- Frontotemporal dementia
It is not a natural part of the ageing process but the risks of developing dementia do increase with age. The symptoms are caused by physical changes to the brain and are unique to the individual.
Symptoms vary, depending on the individual and the type of dementia they have. Typical symptoms can include short team memory loss, difficulties with organisational and planning skills, confusion, problems with word finding, and changes in understanding and judgement. However many people with dementia retain a range of strengths and these abilities can be supported through a combination of sensitive support, trusting relationships and a thorough understanding of the person in an environment designed to maximise their abilities and independence. For more information on dementia, download our guide to dementia
Why environment matters with dementia
Dementia can change the person’s perception of their environment and cause anxiety and disorientation. This can make simple, everyday tasks appear overwhelming and sometimes impossible. Creating an environment where the function of each room is clear and homely with discreet recognisable signage for ease of navigation and way-finding helps to maintain emotional wellbeing and importantly keep the person in control and independent.
Our award winning, specialist dementia environments are designed specifically to enhance the quality of life of our residents. They offer stability, reassurance and familiarity.
Lighting schemes throughout our dementia environments are arranged to eliminate shadows and dark corners wherever possible. Every home has a variety of open communal spaces with wide corridors leading to ‘destination points’, enabling our residents to move around freely in a safe, stimulating environment.
We carefully position relevant objects in corridors and on walls, not just to provide a sense of home, but to help people find their way. The main function of each room is described through clear signage and pictures. Bedrooms are also equipped with bespoke furniture to further aid independence.
Easy access to outside space is vital. Large patio and terraced areas encourage outdoor engagement and gentle exercise helping people to get a “breath of fresh air” whenever they need.
Lifestyle and Activities
It is important to us that our residents can continue to enjoy the activities and lifestyle that they always have and have the opportunity to get involved in new activities and interests with the support of our inclusive community setting.
Our homes offer a wide variety of activities, clubs and lifestyle choices that are tailored to individual needs and residents are free to choose as many as they wish. Activities can vary from a relaxing afternoon tea to creative outdoor activities, such as gardening clubs, to stimulate mind and body.
We also offer a range of facilities to support those living with dementia. Most of our homes have luxurious therapy rooms, so if the resident is feeling a little anxious, they can relax with a soothing massage. If watching a good film is the preferred way to relax, this can also be done in one of our state of our state-of-the-art cinemas. We understand the importance of routine to residents living with dementia and try to enable them to live their life as they choose. For this reason, many of our homes also have a laundry room available for those that want to do their own and a stylish hair and nail salon, so that residents can continue to have their weekly hair and nail appointment.
Residents can also enjoy the company of others in one of our friendly, vibrant cafes. These are often the social hub of our homes a great place to enjoy fresh coffee of tea and homemade cakes while spending time with friends and family.