An award winning care home in Camberley has opened a floor in its building specifically for dementia as part of an innovative new care service.
The specialist wing, at Kings Lodge on the towns Kings Ride, was officially opened at a ceremony by new Surrey Heath Mayor Cllr Robin Perry, Mike Adams of Octopus Healthcare and the chairman of Aura Care Living, the group that run Kings Lodge and manager – Mrs Shawndell Barker.
There is an initial 16 beds open to the county and a total of 32 will be available by the end of the year. The specialist Dementia floor has been specifically designed incorporating many of the Sterling Design Principles for dementia care with a special murals and cognitive themes created throughout the floor called ‘Memory Lane’, a succession of pictures from the past including bright colourful images of old shops, running all the way through its main corridor and access area.
The move comes as reports and analysis from Age UK, circulated in the national press say indicates about 30% of areas now have no residential care beds.
The situation is even worse for nursing homes – needed for the most frail – with more than 60% having no places.
“Memory Lane is an idea we have come up with through research into the disease and how it affects the sufferer,” explained Aura Care Living CEO Linda Lloyd, “We believe that we are providing something different in care by focusing on dementia as it is becoming the country’s biggest killer. I was delighted that the new mayor and Mike Adams were onsite to open the floor.
“I want to thank Kings Lodge’s newly appointed manager Shawndell who is a qualified RGN as well as all of the fantastic work the care staff and residents have done to make it so special.”
Home manager Shawndell Barker said: “At Kings Lodge care Home we are aware that the people we care for, living with dementia are real people with real feelings. We empower and support the residents to live a truly fulfilling life by involving them and their families in care and their care is tailored to their individual needs. As the Home Manager if our residents are happy and healthy makes me happy.
“We have worked with various experts in this field and are in the process of recruiting and training all staff, from nurses to chef’s to laundry personnel in dementia and dementia care. We have also consulted with families of our current dementia residents to gauge their opinion and advice on how and what has worked when managing their relatives who have the disease.
The home recently brought in Training 2 Care, who runs a Virtual Dementia Tour that was the brain child of world renowned dementia specialist – PK Beville.
Aura Care’s Clinical Director Anne Duffy said: “The Virtual Dementia Tour is medically and scientifically proven to be the closest that we can give our team an experience of what dementia might be like. By understanding dementia from the person’s, residents point of view we can change practice, reduce issues and improve their lives.”
This sentiment is also shared by Jenni Organ, the senior nurse with the company who has worked in and around dementia for 20 years. “For us it is about bringing knowledge and a skill, to what we believe, is a holistic care,” she said. “Understanding dementia is about understanding the individual, their life, their journey. It is about supporting the family as well as the person.”