Following an extensive project on families living with Dementia, Abbotswood Court Care Home in Romsey has introduced a series of initiatives to support families living with Dementia.
Gemma Ridout-Bowden, General Manager of Abbotswood Court, has implemented a number of support services following her work with Dementia UK on their ‘Carers as Educators’ initiative. The project found that the challenging demands of looking after someone with dementia can leave family members feeling socially isolated and having to meet hidden costs. It also found that carers’ psychological and physical health could be impacted whilst their relationships with siblings became strained as the amount of care increases.
Abbotswood Court has now introduced several new programmes and events which have been shaped by the report to aid families who are also carers for those with Dementia. This includes the care homes’ ‘Forget-Me-Not Café’ which takes place every last Friday of the month and gives carers the opportunity to meet, and share the challenges they face over coffee and cake. Hoping to address the social isolation that some carers feel, it offers the chance for them to chat with others in similar situations. More regularly, Abbotswood Court also offers complimentary ‘Community Coffee Mornings’ every Thursday from 10.30am to 12.00pm so carers have another regular chance to meet like-minded individuals, with their family member.
Influenced by this project, Abbotswood Court is also the first Residential and Dementia Care Home in Hampshire to invite families living with dementia to enjoy a Tovertafel AKA a ‘Magic Table’ session. Developed in the Netherlands, the Tovertafel is an award-winning innovation which consists of a variety of interactive light animations that can be projected onto any table and respond to hand and arm movements. The interactive games break through apathy by stimulating both physical and cognitive activity while encouraging social interaction so that those with dementia can bond with loved ones in a fun and safe environment.