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At Akari Care we have several homes specialising in dementia care. We recognise that we may have people living with dementia in any of our services, so we strive to ensure everyone receives the right care and support to help them feel relaxed, safe, and content in their new home.
Our philosophy is to provide care that is truly person centred, dignified, and focused on the individual and their needs and wishes. Our staff are trained to recognise the level of help people need to enable them to provide skilled, sensitive, and discreet support when required. We also emphasise the importance of a strengths-based approach, encouraging people to maintain existing skills, abilities, hobbies and interests, and supporting them to be as independent as possible.
Training and Support
Our full-time dementia lead supports us by keeping abreast of and sharing up to date best practice with our teams, providing training and day to day practical support.
Most of our dementia training is delivered face to face by the dementia lead. All colleagues, regardless of job role can attend a one-day face to face training session. In addition, bespoke sessions can be designed and delivered to meet the needs of specific services and staff teams. Short learning sessions also take place via Teams (computer based) where multiple sites can benefit from updates and training at times convenient to them.
Training includes an introduction to dementia (types, causes, symptoms that can accompany dementia). Colleagues need to be able to feel confident in their knowledge and be able to provide information or signpost people with dementia or partners and families to further information and support.
We strongly promote the uniqueness of individuals in our care, and the need for person centred approaches that maximise people’s physical and psychological well-being. Promoting a strongly inclusive culture is very important.
Emotional reactions and behaviour changes can be upsetting for people living with dementia and those around them. We support colleagues to understand that behaviour is often the person’s only means of communicating a need, and that it is our job to try to identify and meet that need to minimise distress. We have commissioned external trainers to deliver specialist training in this area including supporting people with complex care needs around essential personal care delivery.
We are registered and accredited to deliver Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care training where we have practical sessions to demonstrate to colleagues the importance of the correct approach to someone, taking into account visual and perceptual changes in order to avoid startling or upsetting people. We also teach colleagues a technique called Hand under Hand™ used by Teepa Snow which can be used to support people with eating, or personal care which can be helpful for people who have a high level of need for support but limited ability to tolerate it. This technique helps us to do things with people, not to them, which is a key message in this training.
Lifestyle and Wellbeing
We encourage people to remain active and involved in the life of the home. Our Wellbeing Coordinators arrange group and individual activities, based around people’s interests, likes and dislikes. We use Life Story books which contain a wealth of information to help us to plan and tailor care to people’s individual needs. We strongly suggest people are supported by family and friends to complete these as they provide prompts for conversation and allow us to weave what is important to people throughout their day into every-day interactions. This helps people feel connected to others and reinforces their sense of self which is very important.
We are also very aware of the beneficial effects of music for people living with dementia and highly recommend that people moving into our homes are supported to bring with them a personalised playlist and a means to play it. The website Playlist for Life has a wealth of resources information and support to help with developing these. https://www.playlistforlife.org.uk/
We have begun introducing Namaste Care to our homes.
Namaste is a gentle sensory approach which focuses on engaging with someone living with advanced dementia, through sound, touch, smell, taste and sight in order to improve their quality of life including as people approach the end of their life. Namaste can be delivered in a group setting or individually. We aim for the sensory approaches of Namaste to become interwoven into our everyday interactions with people so opportunities can be taken throughout the day to provide care in a sensory way. It is also a lovely way to continue to connect with people as they approach the end of their lives.
We aim to provide homely and welcoming environments furnished to a high standard which help people to feel relaxed and safe. We consider best practice in relation to dementia design when refurbishing and designing our memory communities, including rest areas and points of interest to encourage moving around the home and interaction with the surroundings. We tastefully use colour and contrast to support people with visual and perceptual problems, and landmarks and wall art aid orientation and way finding. We have listened to the views of people living with dementia, who say they prefer the real experience of going to a shop or having a pint of beer in a pub, (including sometimes inside the home) rather than looking at imitation bars and shop fronts. We try wherever possible to provide a real experience.
We encourage people to personalise their own rooms and recognise this is something that can help people when done in advance of them moving into the home. Please contact the home manager to arrange this if you think it will be helpful. Familiar items and trying to recreate the feeling of a room from home can really help people to feel settled in their new environment.
Access to outdoors and being close to nature is very beneficial and we encourage people to go outdoors and continue their gardening hobby if this is what they would like to do.
The following homes offer specialist dementia care: