Residents at Care UK’s Clara Court in Maidenhead are among those in 17 care homes in the area to benefit from government funding to create dementia-friendly environments.
The success of the funding bid by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council was recently announced by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. It means that the council has been given £847,000 to upgrade 17 residential and nursing homes and two day centres.
The cash will see the creation, for instance, of reminiscence resources and pods, such as 1950s livings rooms and pubs, as well as the introduction of large clocks to help with orientation and improvements to accessibility for wheelchair users.
Maizie Mears-Owen, head of dementia services at Care UK, said: “We very much welcome the government’s commitment to improving the environment for people with dementia – we know how seemingly small changes can make significant differences to the way they experience their surroundings and to their feelings of calm and wellbeing.
“Improvements like this will not only benefit the 800,000 people living with dementia themselves, but also all their families and friends, so the funding will have a wide-reaching impact.”
Announcing the projects, part of the government’s pilot scheme to showcase the best examples of dementia friendly settings, Mr Hunt said: “This pilot scheme will form an important first step towards driving better care environments for people with dementia.”
Violet Kotu, regional director at Care UK, said: “I’m delighted that we will benefit from this funding – it will be such a boost for my team, who work very hard to give all our residents care carefully tailored to their individual needs. We do all we can to make life easier for people with dementia and their families, and we look forward to being able to do even more.”
Cllr David Coppinger, cabinet member for adult services and health at the Royal Borough, said: “We want all the homes to be centres of best practice where residents and service users will feel at home, comfortable in their surroundings and where everything around them will help reduce agitation and enable them to be happier and more independent.
“Our bid to the Department for Health was one of only 74 out of 259 to be selected from councils across the country. We are very excited by this success and believe our comprehensive improvement plan will make a positive difference and bring about consistently high standards in the care environment.”