Choosing the right dementia care home for your loved one requires thorough research. Through this article, we hope to introduce areas for genuine consideration.
What is Person-centred Dementia Care?
In 1992 Professor Kitwood founded the Bradford Dementia Group; its philosophy was based on a “person-centred” approach, quite simply to “treat others in a way you yourself would like to be treated”.
Kitwood’s model shows that when caring for, and supporting people with dementia, we must remember six psychological needs:
- Inclusion; and
The importance of relationships in dementia care
Many philosophers have written about the importance of relationships as it relates to dementia care.
The basic premise of person-centred care is that you meet each individual simply as a person and you establish a personal relationship with them. Treating an individual as a person rather than as a case or an object means they are in a genuine relationship and within that relationship, they are able to thrive.
In this way, relationship-centred care dementia care recognises the importance of maintaining an enriched environment for people living with dementia and for their family, friends and carers.
This approach suggests the need to move beyond the traditional care setting into the physical, emotional and social life of ‘communities’.
It is for these reasons that Holly Oak adopts the person-centred approach to care in the form of ‘The Household Model of Care’.
Looking at the key features of the best dementia care
Within our ‘Household Model of Care’ we move away from the traditional and clinical institution into the more familiar feel of households. Residents each have their own front door for privacy, personal artwork and belongings with 24/7 nurse supervision.
There are more intimate comfortable dining rooms, lounge rooms and other desirable services such as hair and beauty salon, tea room and private bar. The community appears as a collection of households that look and feel like homes.
Our staff wear everyday clothes and interact with residents on their terms. Residents have the freedom to choose how they spend their day such as when to get up, when to wash when to eat and what to do in their day.
The Holly Oak approach to specialist dementia care
Duncan Pyne, Manager at Holly Oak Dementia Care Home, and a strong advocate of the ‘Household Model of Care’, embraces and embeds these principles in selecting, training and guiding his team.
“Building on the community principle, we need to value the relationship between carer and cared for and between the cared for and carer, acknowledging our shared humanity. Both carer and cared for need each other.”
One of Tom Kitwood’s most popular demands is that we should stop speaking about “a person-with-DEMENTIA” and start speaking about “a PERSON-with-dementia.
“We focus on understanding the needs of a person with dementia and working on techniques of satisfying those needs during everyday contacts in order to improve their wellbeing. The dialogue in any form, spoken or unspoken is a foundation for providing effective care.”
The consideration of each person as an individual is relevant for medical assessment and planning, but equally importantly the wider context is important in promoting and maintaining the real quality of each person’s life with a well-considered dementia care plan.