We believe that quality of life for individuals with dementia relies on staff seeing the person first and foremost rather than the dementia. We also know that it is important to understand the person's personal history and personality so that care and activities can be designed to bring the best out of the resident.
Staff in our specialist dementia care centres are trained to connect with individuals and to support and understand the individuals' reality. This is done through understanding past history - talking with family and friends and making sure that people feel safe and secure emotionally. We create a 'Life Story Book' for each individual with a dementia related condition and this contains pictures, photographs, relative connections, names, small, every day details that help everyone piece together what is important to this person.
We try to create a home from home environment, where familiar objects can be seen to help with orientation and conversation points. This includes reminiscence displays in some care centres as well as enabling residents to continue helping with daily domestic tasks such as folding, washing up, dusting, knitting and so on.
Our Activities Co-ordinators and Managers will do what they can to record life histories and to understand what the person liked and disliked doing on a day-to-day basis.
A number of our care centres have been trained in and have adopted Sonas aPc techniques. These sensory-based techniques can help to stimulate memories.