New and existing members of the team working across all departments within Encore Care Homes, including the care team, catering, housekeeping and administration, will go through the Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Friends programme, which aims to transform the way that people think, act and talk about the condition.
Alzheimer’s Society created the Dementia Friends initiative to help raise awareness and understanding. A Dementia Friend learns more about dementia, as well as the ways that they can help those living with the disease. Whilst memory loss is a symptom of dementia, the condition damages different areas of the brain and leads to a variety of challenging symptoms. It affects all the senses, and because it is so complex, every person’s experience of it is unique, and consequently, dementia is often misunderstood. Dementia Friends is open to anyone who wants to help people with dementia in their community.
Dementia occurs when the brain is affected by a disease. It is not a natural part of ageing; however, the chance of developing dementia increases significantly with age. There are more than 100 known causes of dementia. The most known types are Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia. The word ‘Dementia’ collectively describes a host of symptoms, which can include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language, which can often start off small, and become increasingly more challenging in the person’s daily life. The person may also experience changes in their mood or behaviour.
The Dementia Friends training has been introduced across Encore’s four care homes so that the team can provide even greater support and individualised care to the residents, some of which have varying levels of the condition. They will learn about dementia, as well as how to support and communicate effectively with residents.
All new members of the Encore team will receive an additional day of training during their induction which will be dedicated to dementia, and will incorporate the Dementia Friends programme. The team will learn about the different approaches, strategies and tools which can support the person-centred care and positive communication which works best for people with the condition.
Lindsay Rees, Director of Health and Care at Encore Care Homes, said: “I have been a Dementia friend for a number of years and believe the initiative is a really simple way to engage people with the valuable and important concept that it is possible to live well with dementia. The initiative is fully in alignment with our mission to put the residents’ needs and wishes at the heart of what we do, which is why we have committed to embed it in the foundations of the dedicated dementia care that we offer at Encore Care Homes.”
Encore’s purpose-built care homes across Dorset and Hampshire feature specific floors that cater for people with varying levels of dementia needs, from the early signs of dementia through to behaviour that can be challenging, and end of life care.
As the government’s Covid restrictions begin to lift, the Encore team is now able to welcome family members and their loved ones to have a covid-safe viewing of the purpose-built facilities available. Full PPE and rapid flow testing are in place for the safety of the care home residents, the team, and visitors.
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