Dementia feature

In this issue of SSSC news we hear from Marc Tuffley, Manager, Ashgill Care Home about improvements they are making to their service to support their staff and people with dementia and their carers.
Marc Tuffley, Manager, Ashgill Care Home

The start of my career

Early in my career I felt that there was a lack of forward thinking ideology within a local psychiatric hospital where the structure of care felt institutionalised. When the offer to work in a care home setting arose in 1991, I decided to see if this was different. The care home setting felt more inclusive and I have worked in a care setting ever since.

Caring and supporting people with dementia

No matter what stage of the dementia pathway the person is on there are meaningful moments that can be enjoyed every day. As carers we have to address care and support based on the person, the individual and how they lived prior to admission to the care home, as part of that person still remains today.

Developing staff

Working closely with an external provider my employer is committed to developing staff by delivering targeted training that looks at communication, meaningful activity, nutrition, the environment, all in relation to the person with dementia. Through the use of a specialised meaningful activity resources staff are able to bridge the gap between the life the person had before living in a care setting and their life now. This resource is compiled in conjunction with the person, their family and their carers.

We have staff who are Dementia and Reminiscence Champions who can explore further options for care and support in the home and through supervision, staff meetings and appraisals staff are consulted on the areas they want to improve upon.

Involving people who use services and their families

Recently we started a hopes and wishes tree in the care home. The tree provides a place where peoples’ wishes can be recorded. Staff use colourful canvas artwork to mark where a hope/wish had been met, which become a memento for the family.

“ No matter what stage of the dementia pathway the person is on there are meaningful moments that can be enjoyed every day.”

We also involve people with dementia and their families through consultations and forums. Residents and their families are also involved when it comes to room finishes, events and even what makes it onto the menu.

We have added small group living areas – this includes a room which looks like a 50s sitting room.

What’s next

We are planning a wash house “steamie” mock up and over the winter a Namaste room, a calm space for people, as well as an old fashioned pub snug games room. We will continue to expand in dementia specific signage and the reception areas will recreate a street scene from Glasgow on each floor.

Where to find out more…

Over half of all residents in care homes in Scotland have dementia. The Scottish Government recently released figures which shows an overall increase in the number of residents in care homes in Scotland with dementia. Find out more about working with people with dementia on our website.

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