The Hica Group, a not for profit organisation which runs 20 care homes and two retirement villages in the Hull and East Riding area, ran a range of innovative and engaging activities for residents, their families and local communities.
Staff from across the group invited friends, family and the local community to take part in open days, coffee afternoons and specialist exercise classes for older people and those with dementia as part of the national campaign, which is ran by the charity, Alzheimer’s Society.
Chief executive of Hica, Penni Brown said: “We support people with dementia all year round through specialist activities, including exercise classes and creative and sensory therapy, providing residents with pop up reminiscence pods and ensuring a comfortable and familiar environment which supports our resident’s quality of life.
“Dementia Awareness Week is a perfect opportunity for us, as care providers and dementia care experts, to spread the word and promote the best ways to support a loved one who is experiencing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
“The events all went really well, and we are very proud of our staff for going the extra mile to raise awareness of dementia in the communities surrounding the homes they work in. Their efforts and dedication perfectly reflect the Shine ethos which is promoted throughout Hica.”
The aim of Dementia Awareness Week is to raise awareness about the condition to encourage earlier diagnosis in more people, allowing more time to come to terms with future symptoms. It is estimated by the Alzhiemer’s Society that over 850,000 people in the UK live with dementia, with numbers to increase to almost 1.2million people by 2025 if current trends continue.
Dementia, which is a term given to a group of symptoms most commonly caused by Alzheimer’s disease, include memory loss, communication problems and severe changes in mood. Symptoms are progressive, with sufferers often eventually developing a dependence on carers.
The Hica Group and its staff support residents with dementia through a range of holistic approaches, which have been positively highlighted in recent Care Quality Commission reports.
Staff at the Anchorage care home, Grimsby, additionally work in partnership with a local children’s group, Nicky’s childminding, to promote dementia awareness in younger people by welcoming the children into the home on a regular basis.
The organisation recently purchased two pop up reminiscence ‘pods’ including a 1950s kitchen and a classic pub to provide new and effective ways to tackle the symptoms of dementia, after more than 60 staff completed a 10 mile sponsored walk which raised almost £4,000.
The pop up areas, created by RemPods, support those with dementia by providing a relaxing environment, encouraging happy memories of familiar, comforting times. The pods are fully equipped with authentic furnishings and memorabilia, with some including retro music and calming background sounds to add to the experience.
The homes also became the first in the Hull and East Riding area to team up with Oomph! Wellness, the UK’s largest provider of activities and exercise training to the care sector.
Staff from across Hica Group’s homes were trained in specialist exercise classes, which have since resulted in improvements in physical, mental and emotional well-being for older people, those with dementia and those with learning difficulties since the introductions of sessions.