Care UK has appointed a team of three specialist dementia trainers to help roll out its award-winning dementia training and care programme.
Gill Winter, Andrew Potts and Mark Harrison form the team of trainers assembled by Care UK’s head of dementia care, Maizie Mears-Owen, to deliver specialist dementia training to teams across Care UK’s 86 homes and 12 day care services in England and Scotland.
During the training, care home employees are given direct experience of the dramatic effect that dementia and frailty can have on the senses: special glasses blur their vision, headphones deliver white noise and gloves restrict the movement of fingers.
Trainees find themselves being fed food that they cannot see, drinking tea from plastic training beakers and being asked several questions in quick succession without enough time to think of replies.In an extensive, and carefully monitored and assessed, pilot programme the training had a measurable effect on residents’ wellbeing. A 42 per cent increase could be seen with greater mobility, social interaction and sleep patterns, after training of home teams and environmental changes were made in the homes.
Maizie said: “Participants find the training very emotional, but there is lots of feedback that shows they are better able to empathise with people with dementia. It will be a big programme of training, as we believe everyone who works in a home, not just those delivering care, should be trained to ensure everyone who a resident meets has the empathy and skills to understand their needs and experience. I think the new training team will find the job incredibly rewarding.”
As well as delivering the experiential training, the team will also help care home teams to understand the laws around mental health conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, and to cope with ‘behaviour that challenges’.
The team will work in regions, with Gill Winter covering the South and some of London, Andrew Potts covering the rest of London, Essex, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire while Mark Harrison will cover the North – including Scotland.
Maizie said: “They are a strong and dedicated group and I know our homes across the country are looking forward to meeting them and taking on our new generation of training.”