Our Dementia Care
Hallmark Care Homes is well positioned to meet the continually changing needs of people living with dementia and has built a strong reputation within the care sector. Our founder has brought about an investment of close to £1m to help turn this vision into reality and in 2021 we launched the next phase of our plans for dementia care; ‘Welcome Home’.
Hallmark Care Homes is unique within the social care sector and has a dedicated dementia care and wellbeing team, bringing together strategic focus, hands-on specialist regional support, and academic research. This means that we have the skills, knowledge and experience to support our homes to deliver high quality dementia care tailored to the individual needs of each person living with dementia.
Our teams receive in-depth training in an extensive range of topics to help them create the best lived experience for people living with dementia. Hallmark’s specialist researcher in residence works alongside the world-renowned Association for Dementia Studies at Worcester University to ensure our practice, resources, and interventions remain current and innovative, as well as conducting our own in-house research.
Meet some of our Dementia & Wellbeing Team
Relationship-centred care is at the heart of our approach to care for everyone living in a Hallmark Care Home. The connections we make, the people who are important to us, and the relationships we build with others, make us who we are. This is no different for people who live with dementia. We value them as unique individuals and are privileged to be part of their lives.
The way we care for people living with dementia at Hallmark Care Homes is informed by research, and based on a model called the ‘Senses Framework’. Developed over 25 years by Mike Nolan, Professor of Gerontological Nursing at Sheffield University, the senses framework looks beyond person-centred care and takes account of the important part that relationships and connections with others play in healthy ageing for people living with dementia.
Nolan’s research, and the experiences of people living with dementia, tell us that there are 6 ‘senses’ we need to create to help people living with dementia experience a sense of wellbeing. These are a sense of belonging, security, continuity, purpose, achievement, and significance. For many people the positive feelings we associate with our own homes can bring about those 6 senses. Those are the feelings we try and create for people at Hallmark Care Homes.
Our Welcome Home Approach to Dementia Care
Living with dementia can make everyday activities and tasks seem overwhelming, but this can often be relieved by changes to the environment. As the perception of the world around them changes, a person may experience increased feelings of disorientation, often manifesting in anxiety and other feelings of stress. As a result, a high quality safe and homely environment can provide comfort and enable people to retain independence.
Hallmark’s dementia and wellbeing team work closely with our interior designers and always keep residents at the heart of our designs. Light is a factor that needs particular consideration; shadows and dark areas of a room can appear misleading and confusing, so we increase the light levels in our homes, creating a safe, stimulating environment. Specially-designed furniture is fitted into each bedroom to ensure safety and comfort during each moment of the day. This way, your loved one can truly enjoy life with limited concerns about safety or anxiety. Throughout our homes carefully chosen items are placed to help people find their way. These act as subtle signage to help residents navigate independently, whilst providing that all-important homely touch.
FAQs about Dementia Care
What is dementia?
Dementia is an umbrella term for a number of neurological conditions, which include:
Lewy Body dementia
While it is not a natural part of the ageing process, 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.
Who can make the decision?
Those living with dementia in its early stages are still able to make decisions for themselves, meaning that they can ultimately decide whether they want to move into a care home or not.
For those in the latter stages of dementia, usually at the point in which they require care or assistance, they may be considered unable to make the decision for themselves. It is therefore wise to put into place a lasting power of attorney for both finance, health and welfare, to enable a loved one to make these decisions on their behalf. More information on lasting power of attorney can be found in our handy guide.
What is dementia care?
Dementia care is the act of supporting residents living with dementia. It is provided by specialist carers who are highly experienced and trained to assist with conditions where decline in cognitive function accumulates.
Hallmark Care Homes invests in evidence-based dementia training and continuous practice development to ensure people living with dementia are cared for in the best way. Dementia care is more than providing a comfortable and safe environment in our care homes, the team build compassionate relationships over time to genuinely understand each and every need of all those living in our homes.
Our dementia care goal is to provide a foundation for residents to live a stimulating and fulfilled life and we are dedicated to achieving this as above all, we care.
When should someone living with dementia move into a care home?
Making a decision about moving a loved one into a care home is tough. You may have been caring for someone at home and it’s understandable to feel a range of emotions as you consider all of the factors involved.
Some of the questions you might be asking yourself may include:
Is your loved one becoming less independent, and are their increasing needs becoming more difficult to meet?
Is it becoming harder to keep your loved one safe?
What effect is caring for your loved one having on you and your family?
What would their new home need to look and feel like to enable them to feel comfortable and secure?
Will the people caring for your loved one understand their individual needs and know how to reassure them?
How can you, and everyone who’s important to them, continue to be involved in their care and share their lives if they move into a care home?
Dementia care is vitally important for those who need it. It is a progressive condition that will bring about changes over time. With the right training, professional carers can support those living with dementia to live happy and purposeful lives in the way that’s right for them. Hallmark Care Homes provide relationship-centred dementia care and have the resources to ensure your loved one can do exactly that.
It’s a difficult decision to make, and we understand that it’s not a decision that can be made lightly. Speak to our team to discuss the needs of your loved one and to find out more about dementia care services at Hallmark Care Homes.
How do you care for a parent living with dementia at home?
Supporting a parent through their journey with dementia at home undeniably requires big adjustments for everyone concerned. It can be difficult to see their health decline and to adapt your way of life as things change.
An important aspect of providing dementia care at home is to create a safe environment. If there are aspects of daily living that pose a particular risk to your loved one, then you may need to think about putting additional measures in place to manage them. Living with dementia may not mean that people will no longer wish to do the things they’ve always liked to do, such as baking, or going for a walk. It might just mean that consideration needs to be given to how the activity can be enjoyed in a safer way. Occupational therapists and other professionals can help you assess any changes that might need to be made within the home.
If you have concerns or feel that you would like support with dementia care, we are here to help. Hallmark Care Homes provide spacious, safe, and homely environments tailored to the needs of people living with dementia. Our approach is to enable people to continue to live happy, comfortable, and full lives.
Do people living with dementia get free care?
Dementia care is sometimes provided for free by a local clinical commissioning group (CCG). An assessment is first carried out to evaluate the severity of dementia with the results determining the eligibility of NHS funded healthcare. Complex and intense cases of dementia are more likely to receive funding.
If the assessment denies eligibility for funding, you can still be referred to your local council where more support options can be discussed.
For more information, read our financial advice guide.
What are the typical early signs of dementia?
Identifying the early signs of dementia can be vital in diagnosing and preventing the illness. With Alzheimer’s disease being the most renowned and common type, being able to seek medical help and implement relevant treatments to slow down and prevent progression at an early stage can provide a better quality of life for longer. This proves beneficial for not only the person, but for the family too.
If you believe that your friend or loved one is showing any of the typical signs of dementia, it is suggested that you take them to visit a medical professional sooner rather than later. Indications of dementia include:
Losing the ability to learn a new skill and finding the process difficult and frustrating
Finding it hard to get used to any physical or sensory changes
Daily activities becoming harder than before, such as making a cup of tea, getting dressed or even following conversations
Having trouble recalling recent events and conversations; finding it hard to remember things