Early Stages of Dementia
The front lounge is designed to look as homely as possible, with a traditional feel to the room to suit the people living with Alzheimer's as they regress back through time. Most people who choose to sit in this room enjoy watching television without too much distraction. Most afternoons the people in this room choose a film to watch. There is also a good stock of books, board games, etc. It is the quietest and most formal of our communal rooms.
Middle Stages of Dementia
The 'Snug' as we call this room, is where most of the relationship care takes place. If you want to just chat or 'hang out' with the staff team this is the room to be in. Off this room is the Kitchen, Conservatory and Activities room and the manager's study is the next room along; so it is the hub of the house and where all the staff team gravitate too. We do not tend to put on television programmes on in this room as most of people who choose this room, are now no longer able to follow the television programmes, but we do play appropriate DVD's such as 'Sound of Music', 'My fair Lady', Norman Wisdom films, Dancing on Ice, etc., that go down really well. We consistently bring out all sorts of 'stuff' from the activities room and encourage the people in this room to be part of running of the home; from washing up to folding laundry. This is our busiest room and you will not always find a seat available, we believe this is down the realistic fire and the high level of relationship care that is offered in this room.
Later Stages of Dementia.
The Conservatory is designed to be visually stimulating and is full of items to visually look at. In this room we deliberately do not have a television but do have an Ipod which plays traditional music which is recognisable by most of the people choosing to use this room. The staff team bring out lots of the items from the Activities room and spread these around the various tables. Generally twice a day some sort of group activity takes place and one to one stimulation throughout the day.
Advanced Stages of Dementia
This room is where we display most of the activities items, we have also kept a quiet corner and could be easily adapted for more people if required. This part of the room is designed to be visually stimulating but quiet with therapeutic music playing, such as bird songs, sounds of the forest and sea. We offer stimulation of the sensory kind, such as hand massage, touching of sensory materials and sensory items, etc.
This area is to ensure that people living with advanced stages of dementia are not in an environment that is over stimulating, i.e. causing an individual to live in a chaotic environment and causing unnecessary tiredness and withdrawal into themselves. Focusing on what each person 'can do', ensuring stimulation and quality of life, within their limited remaining abilities.
Some people choose a room and stay in that room for most of the day, but most people change and gravitate to different rooms for different reasons. Some people who may be enjoying music in the conservatory may then appreciate more a DVD playing the film 'Oliver' and move to the Snug. Some of the people in the Lounge may be watching a black and white War film, but then suddenly appreciate more 'Some Mothers do Have Em' film, or the live music being played in the conservatory by the various visiting singers that we regularly arrange. People may gravitate towards some arts and crafts and some surprisingly just feel the need to do something they have been doing all their life – washing up!
As part of my training in Relationship Dementia Care through Surrey University, I am trained to observe, monitor and record the level of quality of life within the home. I am proud to say that we have extremely low levels of sleep and boredom throughout the day and very high levels of independent stimulation and social communications, including laughter and affection. Compared to the national averages we as a home offer exceptional standards of relationship care. As an example latest scores for sleep plus boredom levels equated to 16% of day, the national average is 70%. We believe by matching the communal rooms to stages of living with a dementia and the staff team's camaraderie and positive enthusiasm for their chosen role in life, has been a significant part of achieving these excellent outcomes.