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Posts Tagged ‘dementia care home in East Devon’

Rediscovering the television

Perhaps you have seen this youself: You walk into the lounge of a care home. The TV is on, showing a children’s programme. Residents sit around, staring at the walls. You just know the TV has been on continuously withouth anyone changing the channels.

Why have a TV at all ?

When we asked our residents about the TV, they told us that they do like to watch the TV, but mostly in the evenings, after their support. For many of our residents, watching TV in the evenings was very much part of their routine, and marked the end of the day for them. We make an exception for big events such as the recent World cup and Wimbledon of course.

So we have rediscovered our TV as a useful tool to help our residents keep track of where they are in the day. Now we tend to only put the TV on after supper and we try and show programmes that people are interested in (news, soaps, sport, wildlife and history programmes, and films particularly Westerns!).

We did consider getting ourselves a fancy new flatscreen TV but for most of our residents that would just be confusing as their memories are of big bulky TVs.

Our first resident committee meeting

 Over the past six months or so we have been increasingly involving our residents in day to day decisions about their live at Rose Lodge.

Today we took the next step by forming our residents committee. Seven residents agreed to join the committe and they held their first meeting this morning. They decided that they would like someone to mark up the Radio Times every week with their favourite TV programmes, and that they would like a cinema club and watch films, particularly Westerns and Musicals.

By listening to the residents and involving them in major decisions affecting their life at Rose Lodge, we are not only improving the experience of living at Rose Lodge at a practical level, but we are also helping to give residents an increased sense of purpose and of being in control of their lives.

We will be holding the committee meetings on a weekly basis for a while and review things after a few weeks. So far so good!

Exmouth school joins our landshare project

We had the wonderful news today that the Beacon School in Exmouth has agreed to participate in our landshare project, and work with our residents to grow vegetables in our garden. So now we have to clear the land! The intention is that a group of pupils will start late summer when they go back to school, and work the garden regularly for a year, so they can learn about the complete cycle of vegetable growing. I can’t wait, this will be so much fun!

Our veggie garden

Results from our May 2010 relatives survey

We are really pleased with the results of our 2010 relatives survey, in particular that all of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the quality of our care had improved during 2010 and that they would recommend Rose Lodge to their friends.

  Strongly disagree Disagree Agree Strongly agree Agree or strongly agree
Staff members respond promptly to door bell or telephone 0% 0% 90% 10% 100%
Staff members make me feel welcome when I visit 0% 20% 50% 30% 80%
Staff members are sensitive to my feelings and support me well 0% 25% 25% 50% 75%
The Manager is approachable and responds to any question or issues promptly and effectively 0% 0% 67% 33% 100%
Newsletters and relatives meetings keep me informed about life at Rose Lodge 0% 0% 90% 10% 100%
Staff  members are well presented and act professionally 0% 0% 78% 22% 100%
Staff members treat residents with respect and dignity 0% 0% 60% 40% 100%
Staff members understand the life history of my family/friend and relate to him/her as an individual 0% 0% 86% 14% 100%
The activities programme is helping to bring a sense of purpose and well-being to my family or friend 0% 14% 71% 14% 86%
I feel included in the planning of the care for my friend/family 10% 10% 60% 20% 80%
The home is clean and odour free 0% 0% 70% 30% 100%
Recent renovations have created a better environment for my friend/family 0% 0% 60% 40% 100%
The Quality of care provided at Rose Lodge has improved in 2010 0% 0% 88% 13% 100%
I would recommend Rose Lodge 0% 0% 100% 0% 100%

A Magic moment of Extraordinary Empathy

We have been exploring the use of doll therapy with a couple of our residents. The idea is that with some people this can satisfy their nurturing need which can otherwise be unfulfilled. The approach is not without its complications as we discovered when one resident became quite agitated with the responsibility of looking after what appeared to her to be a baby.

So we are now quite careful when we introduce dolls that look like babies, but we have recently been trying this with one of our residents who is expressing a strong need to nurture.

Today I was observing this lady who was in the lounge chatting to the doll and caring for it. The resident who was sitting next to me commented on the fact that this lady was talking to a doll. I suggested perhaps she thought it was a baby. She thought about this for a moment, then simply stated  “It’s the child she never had”. Which was exactly on the mark. How did she work this out ?

We are becoming increasingly aware of the extraordinary ability that some people with dementia have to read the body language of the people around them. Perhaps it something like people who go blind and develop their hearing abilities. Whatever it is, it is quite amazing and shows how important it is to create a relaxed and purposeful environment so that residents can feel safe and secure.