What Are Specialist Dementia Care Homes?

Eastleigh Care Homes provide specialist dementia care at our Minehead, Raleigh Mead, and East Street homes. At the core of the care given by our dementia care specialists is our belief to see the person as a unique individual. We consider it a pleasure to provide specialist dementia care. If you’re researching specialist dementia care homes in the South West, we’ve probably come up in your research. However, you may still have questions about what specialist dementia care homes are; how they differ from other types of nursing and residential care; and what you can expect from dementia care specialists?

What is Dementia?

Dementia is an umbrella term describing a set of symptoms caused in different ways. The common symptoms are confusion, memory difficulties, cognitive difficulties, processing problems, and sometimes language difficulties too.

Nurturing the Individual

In all types of elderly care, nurturing the individual is important. However, with dementia residents this is more crucial. Enabling a sense of individual identity, in light of the dementia symptoms, drawing on the individual’s history, experiences, likes, and dislikes, is central to all that specialist dementia care should be. This means that the dementia care specialists always keep this at the front of their care.

Specialist dementia care aims to reduce the symptoms of dementia where possible, and to provide security and assurance – always. Dementia can be very frightening for both the individual and their loved ones. Specialist dementia care should alleviate this fear. This starts from a personalised care plan for each dementia resident, created in collaboration with their loved ones.

Specific Care Strategies in Specialist Dementia Care

Whilst it is imperative to respond to, and support, the individual dementia resident, there are certain strategies we’ve found to be particularly beneficial in our specialist dementia care facilities.

  • Their Story: With dementia residents, it is not uncommon to experience a clear memory from the past, with the memory loss occurring over memories that are more recent. This is why we build on the story of the individual in terms of their history, family, and preferences. Activities and daily living are planned accordingly.
  • Familiarity: Dementia can be unpredictable. One way to care for an individual who is living with this unpredictable nature is to foster familiarity within their care environment. Specialist dementia care should achieve this in a number of different ways. For example, at Eastleigh we use state-of-the-art dementia friendly furniture and personal belongings to signal recognition.
  • Safety: In specialist dementia care settings, you can expect an environment that maximises safety whilst also maximising independence. This requires a specialist approach to the environment in terms of signage, colour schemes, and clearly defined areas, as well as access to outdoor spaces.
  • Exceptional staff: At the heart of all of the above are the dementia care specialists. These individuals have a deep commitment to dementia care, and have undergone specialist training at an advanced level. Not only do they therefore provide outstanding care to our dementia residents, they also support families as they come to understand dementia.
  • Time: Dementia residents need to be afforded the luxury of time, without rush or stresses of daily living. Specialist dementia carers know the importance of giving time to each individual, and in fact consider it a privilege to do so. Through the giving of time, the individual is nurtured. At Eastleigh, we take time to create a personal journal for each dementia resident which can then also be a prompt in our reminiscence therapy.

A Step Above

There are certain basics you should expect from dementia care facilities and homes. However, at Eastleigh we believe in going considerably beyond best practice, and instead providing the very latest research-supported dementia care.

Therefore, we have specialist phased lighting within our dementia care homes which supports the changing times of day. This lighting has been proven to reduce the more challenging and upsetting behaviours dementia patients may exhibit. We are the inaugural site for this pioneering lighting system in the UK.

Why is it Important to Get the Best Care for Dementia Residents?

Dementia residents, and their loved ones, face immense challenges and fears. Standard nursing care does not specifically aim to address these challenges and fears in the way that specialist dementia care does. In fact, a ‘typical’ nursing home environment can exacerbate and further confuse a dementia patient. We believe that the latter years of an individual’s life, even with dementia in the picture, should be a time for love, safety, reminiscence, and joy. This can only be achieved with specialist dementia care.