The first thing you will notice about the Dementia Care provided at St Michaels Rest Home is that it is person-centred. Rather than think in terms of ‘Dementia Care’ we think about caring for the person living with dementia, and supporting you.
We really want to emphasise this individualised care because when we meet a person living with dementia for the first time we always think about them as much more than just someone with dementia – dementia, as much as it may have altered a person’s experience of life, is just a part of their life, but not their whole life.
At St Michaels we create the sort of welcoming and familiar environment that really helps residents deal with the challenges of memory loss due to dementia and preserves their sense of identity. Life before dementia therefore is key to shaping life after its onset. We strive to find out as much as possible about an individual, their likes, dislikes and habits – you know, the things that makes them who they are and gives them their identity. We want to get as full a picture of their life story to date and then we reaffirm that story through conversations, personal items like pictures, ornaments and clothing, and even the layout, décor and ambience of our rooms. We focus on what the person can do rather than what they can’t. We want them to know that life goes on. Recognizing our residents’ needs in this way preserves dignity and independence.
Another benefit of person-centred Dementia Care is that it enables us to provide an individual with as much opportunity as possible to continue doing the things they’ve always enjoyed. This emphasis on their preferences and needs informs their care, for example, when it comes to participating in our wide range of activities and programmes, such as cooking, sewing, board games and gardening.
As well as the obvious things, like knowing their primary and secondary healthcare needs, little things like bedtime routines, how a person likes their tea or coffee and even how they brush their hair, can also help.
St Michaels has a long track record in excellent Dementia Care but we never rest on our laurels. We can’t. Each person that comes to us for care and support is different and unique. Each carer is also unique. While one thing may work for one person it may not work for you, so we’re constantly learning and applying new things to support those who seek our help. Our staff is trained to recognise and value each individual and will work with you to help implement the things that work and to tweak those that don’t.
At St Michaels Rest Home you will find dedicated, compassionate, caring staff who are trained in helping our residents and their family members to live with both the good and bad days that go hand-in-hand with memory loss with dementia. Everything we do is motivated by a drive to provide comfort and security in a home to home environment.
Staff members often come up with new and creative ways to improve the experience for our residents. This is key, because these ideas often come from what we learn from our residents and this in turn helps to shape our people-centred approach significantly.
You will notice that each staff member is trained to have a good understanding of the effects of dementia. They understand the various illnesses that lead to different forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s, which can be reassuring when things are extra challenging and you need to talk.
If you live locally then finding dementia care in East Sussex might be very important to you. Having to move far away from the area they’ve known all their life can be very distressing for both the person with dementia and their carers. Choosing a care home in East Sussex makes the transition much easier and means you are able to visit as often as you like.
The nature of dementia is to affect the memory, so people living with the illness may struggle with short term memory, reasoning and communicating. It can be difficult and distressing for both the person with dementia and those close to them, like family and friends.
Individualised or person-centred care is the approach we take to help our clients and those around them minimise this distress. We work with each person to understand their background and journey, their interests and passions, and their general life preferences. It could be something as simple as knowing how they take their tea or their bedtime routine. We try to learn as much as possible about each person’s story and then use that as the basis for building a care plan that will help support them in the best way possible.
We take the approach that each person had a life before dementia and that life doesn’t just disappear or become unimportant just because they are having to live with the illness. Individualised care means that each person’s care in unique to the person, their needs and the people who love them.
Finally, at St Michaels we value continued learning and training. We draw on the knowledge and expertise of professionals from a range of health and other backgrounds so we can support our clients in all areas of their lives.