Selston care home boss says approach to dementia care has changed during pandemic
The manager of a care home in Selston has described how the future of dementia care has changed dramatically during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In light of World Alzheimer’s Month, running during September, Anita Astle, managing director at Wren Hall Nursing Home, reflected on how “an unprecedented 18 months has completely altered the structure and DNA of the social care sector as we know it”.
She said it is now more important than ever to pay attention to individual dementia patients’ happiness.
“Despite the progressive layers of protective equipment – the masks, the shields/visors, the gowns – implemented into our social ethos, we still need to be cautious that in life beyond Covid-19, there isn’t a reaction which sets extreme layers of interventions,” she said.
“Ignoring the daily freedoms that bring joy to people’s daily wellbeing is a dangerous proposition."
She described how the care home has made more use of technology during the pandemic to support residents living with dementia.
She said: “For example, if one of our residents with dementia suffers from anxiety, there are digital tools that can provide our caregivers with vital information, such as that person’s favourite song.
“This can make a difference in calming them and aid with reminiscing – a core focus for someone with dementia.”
“With it being World Alzheimer’s Month, we want to help reduce the stigma that has persisted around dementia for far too long and it’s clear to see that the adoption of technology is a necessary step to achieve such a utopia.”
Wren Hall has combined its technological ideas with a method called the ‘Butterfly Approach’, which aims to value emotional intelligence, domestic household living, and the core belief that everyone living with dementia has a unique story.
Anita added: “At the heart of The Butterfly Approach is love and a feeling of family.
“By having a few props at your fingertips, there is the potential to help change a moment in someone’s day when most needed.
“If we are serious about reshaping the future of dementia care, then the implementation of proven dementia care models coupled with the utilisation of innovative technology can go a long way in making a tremendous difference to someone’s daily experiences.”