My Home, My Time, My Choice: How far can we personalise care homes for people living with dementia
by Gill Bailey
Can you really personalise a care home for people living with dementia?
In Stockport, the Local Authority, a provider - Borough Care, and a consultancy team (H.S.A) are working to see just how far we can go in delivering personalised support to the forty three people living with dementia in a care home called Bruce Lodge.
The project at Bruce Lodge in Offerton involves a change in thinking, giving people in care homes the opportunity to direct their own support as individuals. This personalised approach enables people living with dementia to direct their own support on a day to day basis and ensuring that at least two hours each month are allocated for residents to do whatever they want. They can do something that is important to them, where they want, in the home or in the community, and importantly choose who they want to support them.
The first step is for each resident to have a one-page profile (see below), which will contain details of what is important to the person and what he or she likes to do as well as information on how best to support them.
All staff, including the housekeepers and maintenance staff, at Bruce Lodge have been supported to produce their own one-page profiles to help to match staff with residents who have the same or similar interests, and for residents to choose who they want to support them.
To be able to evaluate how much changes, we started by developing a dementia care map and using a new self-assessment called 'Progress for Providers - checking your progress in delivering personalised support for people living with dementia' (opens new window). This was developed by providers, commissioners, practitioners and academics to pull together the best of person-centred care and build on this to extend it to self-directed support, and fully supports TLAP's vision for making progress with personalised community-based support, as set out in Making it Real. The assessment is in three sections - what it means for individuals living with dementia, their families, and what staff and managers will be doing when they truly deliver personalised services.
Barbara Pointon MBE - former carer, Ambassador for the Alzheimer's Society and Dementia UK, and member of the Standing Commission on Carers says:
"What is remarkable is that a truly person-centred approach is not only good for the person with dementia, but the attitude it fosters then percolates into every aspect of care home life, enriching the whole staff team and the environment. And families are treated as partners in care, thereby creating a two-way flow of information which encourages that important triangle of trust between the individual person living in the home, their family members and the professionals
The booklet's clear structure helps us to confront the reality of where we are now, recognise where we'd like to be and learn how to get there, whether as an individual or as a team. For family carers who have had to 'give up caring' for someone but who still care deeply about them, it is comforting to know that in this person-centred atmosphere they will continue to be empowered, nurtured and cherished."
Three months on - a lot has changed
The people who live at Bruce Lodge are using their time in many different ways. Annie wants to go to the local market, have tea and cake or a meal whilst out. John is going out on a boat, Doreen was an assistant verger at a local church where she was also a member of the Mothers Union and so wants to go to a church service there. Van has later stage dementia and after thinking with her and her family, our best guess is that she would enjoy going out to the park and sitting by the bowling green to have an ice cream or to have someone read her favourite author to her.
Winifred chose to spend her individual time with Beryl, a housekeeper, carrying out household chores. She can be heard singing aloud as she polishes, mops, washes up and carries out the chores she did so routinely in her own home before she moved here. The increase in wellbeing is clear to see. Maureen and Bernie, Winifred's daughters, have noticed the change this has made to Winifred, in that she is happier, chatting more, using fuller sentences, is sleeping better and generally "more alive".
These are just a few of the ways people are using their hours sometimes it's about living in the moment, or having a purpose to get out of bed in the morning or to be active members of community. A long way from the stereotypical idea of people living with dementia!
To find out more, go to the Stockport Personalising Care Homes web page (opens new window) and the Progress for Providers section on the Helen Sanderson Website (opens new window).
Gill Bailey works for Helen Sanderson Associates (opens new window).
- Borough Care Bruce Lodge One Page Profile
A one page profile is a starting point to summarise what we know matters to a person (what is important to) and how to support them well. The expert on the content of the one page profile is the person...
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