Teams working for Care UK across the country have been announced as finalists in an award from highly respected charity The Alzheimer’s Society in recognition of their professionalism in providing care people for people living with dementia.
Care UK teams are finalists in the Dementia Hero Award for Professional Excellence category. Judges were looking for teams which champion safety, compassion, dignity and a person-centred approach, supporting people living with dementia to live well and remain independent for longer.
The Care UK entry focused on how teams have been working tirelessly to ensure residents in Care UK’s 124 homes were supported to live fulfilled, enriched lives despite the pressures that the pandemic has put on care home life. A team of four people in the central Approach to Care (ATC) team came up with various initiatives that colleagues working in the care homes could use to ensure residents were kept safe, happy, entertained and healthy.
One of the tools that all homes used was the Active Minds app (now called Relish). With only essential visits taking place, the ATC team worked with the developers of the Active Minds app to create a customised version for Care UK homes. This has over 200 pre-prepared activities for teams to use with residents and to record their responses. It offers multiple ways to enhance wellbeing and tailor activities to residents' interests and it captures data on how much each resident enjoyed and engaged with what was offered.
Another was to develop ground-breaking new training to help colleagues support residents when the usual routine of care home life with visits from family and entertainers or trips out weren’t possible. The added challenge was that this had to be delivered to colleagues virtually as face-to-face training wasn’t possible under pandemic guidelines. One of the many live modules rolled out was to coach colleagues in how to find positive ways to sooth distressed behaviour in residents with dementia, to spot and rectify the causes, such as unmet needs and to use the person’s life story to find positive approaches to caring for them in such unusual circumstances.
Commenting on the fact that the approach to care team and all the front line care home colleagues were shortlisted for this award, Care UK’s Head of Nursing, Care & Dementia Suzanne Mumford said: “Being shortlisted for an award by the Alzheimer’s Society truly is an honour. The nomination is a recognition of the incredible dedication of both my ATC team who devised the training, as well as working with the developers of interactive tools like Relish, and the teams who put this guidance and expertise to practical use in every one of our 124 homes to really benefit the residents that so many families trust us to care for. I’d like to thank the teams for their dedication and the Alzheimer’s Society for choosing to recognise our approach to providing the best possible care during a difficult time.”
Care UK teams will find out on 20th May whether they have won the overall trophy for professional excellence from the Alzheimer’s Society.